It’s hard to find an American who isn’t regularly enjoying a latte, thanks to the popularity of Starbucks and fast-food restaurants jumping in on the caffeine scene.
Sure, there are many health benefits associated with this little bean, but they can hardly compete with the potentially serious side-effects of overindulging in your favorite caffeinated treat.
Besides over stimulating your adrenal glands and putting your energy levels on a constant roller coaster ride, our latte-habit may be contributing to three of the leading causes of death in America: heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
A single cup of coffee in the morning is nothing to lose sleep over, but it’s the added fat, sugar and calories (often found in coffee drinks) that can significantly compromise your health.
It’s no secret that a diet high in fat and processed sugar will contribute to heart disease and diabetes, but excess sugar can create an acidic environment in the body, in which cancer cells thrive.
Since fast-food restaurants have also become coffee bars, people who would normally scowl at the thought of coffee are now happily sipping their whipped-cream-topped treats along with their meal deals.
With that in mind, take a look at the nutrition facts from several of American’s most popular spots for getting their daily dose of caffeine:
At McDonalds, even seemingly innocent drinks are loaded with cream and sugar. For instance, ordering a large ice coffee means you're consuming 260 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 39 grams of sugar. From there, it only gets worse from there, with a large Frappe Mocha weighing in with 680 calories, 28 grams of fat, and an alarming 87 grams of sugar.
These nutrition facts make a cheeseburger look like health food.
It doesn’t get any better at our beloved Starbucks, where a Caramel Frappuccino will set you back 510 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 81 grams of sugar. Even in a smaller size, the “light” vanilla Frappuccino has nearly 40 grams of sugar.
Last, but not least we have Dunkin Doughnuts, an American classic. We’ve all heard the marketing tagline, “America runs on Dunkin,” which is especially scary, considering their menu offerings of mainly doughnuts, pastries and coffee beverages. If you are running on Dunkin, beware that their large frozen mocha coffee with cream has over 1000 calories, 53 grams of fat and 127 grams of sugar.
The lesson here is to practice moderation with any caffeinated beverage and for goodness' sake, stick to the basics when ordering coffee.
A regular cup of coffee has a mere 5 calories: add a splash of cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and you’re still under 50 calories.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather save my splurges for something besides coffee.