It’s that time of the year: this year’s Oscar nominations have been revealed, New Year’s resolutions are gradually turning into habits, and the winter breezes are blowing throughout the crisp, January air. To cure that frozen, numbing feeling on our lips, we turn to our favorite coffee shops for a steamy coffee or delicious hot chocolate. However, have you taken the time to check the nutrition facts of your drinks before you enter those coffee shop doors?
If you tend to drink at least one popular hot drink from a coffee shop each day, you should take the time to search the nutritional facts of the drink and assess whether that drink is ideal to consume consistently. Most likely, you will find that your favorite drink contains a large amount of sugar, and when you begin your day with a large amount of sugar, it can have negative effects on your health.
My drinks can’t have that much sugar, can they?
Many popular hot drinks can contain up to 60g of sugar depending on the size of the drink. Some examples of Starbucks hot drinks with high quantities of sugar include:
- Caramel Macchiato = 33 grams of sugar in a 16oz serving
- Peppermint Mocha = 54 grams of sugar in a 16oz serving
- Hot Chocolate = 37 grams of sugar in a 16oz serving
- Chai Tea Latte = 42 grams of sugar in a 16oz serving
- Matcha Tea Latte = 27 grams of sugar in a 16oz serving
For comparison, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 25 grams of added sugar a day for women, while no more than 36 grams of sugar is recommended for men. This shows that one 16oz peppermint mocha is more than double the recommended sugar intake for women.
What’s so wrong with sugar to start your day?
By beginning the day with large amounts of sugar, that sugar sets the tone for your hunger and blood sugar levels for the rest of the day. Large amounts of sugar in the mornings can make you hungrier throughout the day. Also, your blood sugar levels can rise, which increases your chances of having heart problems later in life, especially if you start every day with an unhealthy beverage. High amounts of sugar have also been linked to depression and weight gain. Having a healthy breakfast, whether you focus on food or a heart healthy drink, is essential for your health.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a hot drink to start your day. If you are looking for hot drinks to have each morning without the guilt of all that sugar, keep reading for some healthy caffeine drink and healthy hot chocolate recipes to keep you warm this winter.
Sugar Free Tea Latte
In the mood for a tasty, creamy, and healthy coffee alternative? Try this tea latte recipe!
- Boil water and seep tea bag in your cup for 3-5 minutes.
- Heat milk in a pan or microwave and froth it for an extra creamy taste!
- Add 1 packet of SweetLeaf® Stevia to the milk and mix again.
- Pour milk over tea latte and enjoy!
- Remove tea bag after steeping.
Not a fan of coffee? These next two hot chocolate recipes are the perfect healthy drinks for your morning.
Keto Pink Hot Chocolate
Here’s a healthy hot chocolate recipe for a Valentine’s-themed hot chocolate.
- In a mug or small saucepan, mix milk and add one squeeze of Sweet Drops.
- Add food coloring and continue to stir once desired pink color is reached.
- Add sugar-free white chocolate chips (optional).
- Mix until everything starts to steam just before bubbling.
- Use a milk frother to foam.
- Enjoy topped with whipped cream sprinkles!
Homemade Hot Cocoa
Looking for healthy tips on how to make hot chocolate? Try this homemade hot cocoa recipe!
- Place cocoa powder and SweetLeaf® Stevia in a mug.
- Add hot water and stir to dissolve powders.
- Add milk of choice and microwave approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Add a dollop of whipped cream or coconut cream with chocolate shaving to top off.
*Recipe courtesy of Debbie Monell.
For more recipes, check out Sweetleaf’s catalog of sugar-free recipes!