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Coffee: A Latte of Sugar?

Coffee: A Latte of Sugar?
Coffee: A Latte of Sugar?

Americans consume over 400 million cups of coffee each day, or 146 billion cups each year.  No doubt, we are obsessed with coffee.  In fact, almost half of Americans would rather give up their cell phones than go without coffee.  It often starts our day in the morning and gives us a quick pick me up in the afternoon.

Coffee itself is very low in calories, which is good for those trying to lose weight.  But only 28% of Americans drink their coffee black.  72% of coffee drinkers opt for dairy or nondairy creamer, and 30% sweeten their coffee with sugar or other sweetener.  Now, the calories start to add up.  And if you choose to purchase your coffee at one of the many coffee shops popping up on nearly every corner of town, you may be unknowingly drinking way more calories than you think.

Many coffee purchasers don’t realize that the coffee they are drinking can have as much sugar as a can of soda or multiple Twinkies.  Think of what some “coffees” look like:  whipped cream and caramel drizzled on top.  But, even if you choose no whipped cream, some coffees come presweetened.  In fact, some coffee drinks purchased at popular coffee houses can have almost 5 tablespoon of sugar!  That’s nearly the daily limit of added sugar an adult female should consume in one whole day, and some people drink it in one coffee.

How can you avoid the sugar trap of purchased coffee and still get the pick me up you need?  Choose a regular cup of coffee or espresso and flavor it yourself.  Say no to the tempting shots of liquid flavor offered.  Instead, opt for the cinnamon or nutmeg often offered after you’ve picked up your plain brew.  These shakers are often found at the station where you find stirrers and milk.  Surely, it won’t make your coffee taste like dessert, but you will cut down on many unnecessary calories and tablespoons of sugar.

By reducing the amount of sugar you drink in your coffee, you can easily cut out enough calories to promote weight loss with just that simple change.  If you often drink a sugar laden coffee from a coffee house, you can easily cut out up to 500 calories from your diet without really trying.  If you normally buy a high calorie high sugar coffee everyday, by cutting it out you could reduce your calories enough to lose up to a pound a week.  That’s a pound a week without exercise, unless you count exercising restraint.

Choose a plain coffee, espresso, or tea to give yourself the pick up you need without the calories and sugar you don’t need.  Better yet, brew the coffee yourself.  Not only will you save on calories, but you’ll save money also.  In some cases, you could save enough money each month to pay for a gym membership or weekly yoga classes.  Now, not only will you have reduced your caloric intake, but you’ll be burning calories as well!

The above suggestions are offered by Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A., a board certified surgeon specializing in obesity surgery and advanced laparoscopic surgery.  Dr. Shillingford’s bariatric patients come from all over South Florida for his expertise in gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and adjustable lap band surgery.  His Boca Raton office is conveniently located for patients from Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, and Wellington, though he often sees patients who come in specially from as far away as Cocoa Beach, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville.  If you or a loved one is interested in sleeve gastrectomy, gastric bypass, or adjustable lap band weight loss surgery, call Dr. Shillingford at (561) 483-8840 to schedule an appointment for a free weight loss consultation.