Whats the healthiest way to lighten your coffee?
Anyone who has tried to cut calories by switching from cream to skim milk in their coffee knows that its not an easy transition. I often hear dieters lament that they need to have their coffee with cream, after all, they didnt gain weight with a little cream in their coffee. Or did they?
I decided to investigate just how much difference the choice would make. Lets take me as an example. On average, I consume three large decaffeinated coffees a day (about 10 ounces per cup). I wont tell you what I put in my coffee just yet.
For the sake of this exercise, we are going to stick with real-milk products only. I figured that I use about 3 tablespoons per cup, so thats 9 tablespoons per day.
Heres the approximate calorie count for a days worth of my usual choices: Half and half cream, 180 calories; whole milk, 90 calories; 2 percent milk, 70 calories; 1 percent milk, 60 calories; nonfat milk, 45 calories. The calorie differences are mostly due to the amount fat in each product.
The take-home message is that even small amounts of extra calories do make a difference.
If I were to switch from half and half to whole milk (which is not as painful as you think) I would save 90 calories a day. Providing I dont fill the void with a doughnut, those calories could translate to a nine-pound weight loss in a year without even trying!
If I wanted to travel even lower down the calorie road and switch to 1 percent milk, I could look forward to a possible 12-pound weight loss in a year. Even if I dont lose weight, these swaps could at least help me maintain my current weight.
Of course there are lots of non-fat dairy creamers and flavored products on the market that are lower in calories but higher in chemical additives.
Dont think that a non-fat product is always lower in calories.
Read the label; some of them are higher in calories because of added sugars. Speaking of sugar, I have been trying to cut the artificial sweetener habit and just have milk with my coffee.
Coffee can be a good addition to your healthy lifestyle. As a matter of fact, coffee contains antioxidants that have been shown to have numerous benefits.
There was some concern that adding milk to coffee decreased the absorption of these antioxidants.
Not to worry. A report in the February 2010 Journal of Nutrition reported that adding milk to coffee did not affect the antioxidant benefits, however, adding nondairy creamer with sugar did reduce absorption.
Thats reason enough for me to stick with whole milk in my coffee its natural and creamy with less than half the fat of cream and the milk sugar adds a little sweetness, so I can skip the sweetener.
What you chose is up to you; just do the math.