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As soon as you feel the nip in the air, it’s tempting to switch out your healthy iced teas and fruit smoothies for comfy, cozy specialty coffees.
But those coffees can “pack quite a punch to your waistline,” according to Ricia Taylor, RD, a registered dietician at Kaiser Permanente. Specialty coffee drinks others can easily come in at between 200 and 500 calories. When you pair that with other warm comfort foods of the season (can you say homemade mac-n-cheese, chili, and fresh baked breads?), it’s easy to see how the pounds sneak on during the colder months.
Taylor offers some tips to reduce the damage of hearty fall drinks — so pour yourself a cup of coffee, and learn how to lighten up YOUR latte this season.
By the numbers
A 16-ounce pumpkin latte with whole milk and whipped cream has 420 calories, 18 grams of fat (28% of the recommended daily intake), 220 milligrams of sodium (9%), 52 grams of carbohydrate (17%), and 14 grams of protein.
But with a few adjustments, those numbers can get better:
- Nonfat milk, no whip: 260 calories
- Caffe latte, nonfat, no whip: 130 calories
Tips and tricks when ordering out
- Skip the whole milk and cream; request skim milk, or unsweetened almond or soy milk.
- Skip the whipped topping.
- Do not sweeten your drink, or add your own sugar or sweetener so you control the amount.
- Opt for the smallest size option — ask for the 8-ounce “short” size or a kid’s cup, if available.
- Select a sugar-free syrup.
- Ask for fewer pumps of the regular syrup.
Tips and tricks at home
- Swap out regular milk with skim milk — especially for your hot chocolate splurges — for a healthier, low fat, and lower calorie drink. You can also try unsweetened almond or soy milk as a delicious alternative to dairy milk.
- Cycle in your favorite hot teas, and use strong mint tea in your hot chocolate for a great chocolate mint treat.
- To cut the calories in your apple cider, use half warm apple cider and half your favorite strong tea.
The Baristas’ Secret
A Skinny Little Latte: Steamed nonfat milk with espresso, topped with layer of foam and sugar-free syrup. A 12-ounce latte meets 30% of your daily calcium needs.
Shared with permission from Kaiser Permanente Georgia
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