eDiets - The online diet, fitness, and healthy living resourcePractically
the first thing I do after I arise is rinse the coffee pot, empty out the old
soggy grounds, replace the filter, measure the appropriate number of fresh
scoops, refill the water reservoir and wait not-so-patiently for the gurgly
sounds of brewing to end.
Yes, for me the best part of waking up is
Maxwell House Lite in my cup!
In fact I am drinking a mug as I write this
It's a good bet many of you are doing the
same thing. The National Coffee Association says five out of 10 adult Americans
drink coffee every day -- that's 107 million daily drinkers!
Another one-in-four, or 57 million more
adults, drink coffee occasionally.
In other words, many of you have bean
there, done that!
My attention perked up when I read that the
average coffee drinker sucks up 3.3 cups of coffee per day. And the average
coffee cup size is 9 ounces.
Black coffee has helped many a dieter stay
the course. A steamy serving quells your hunger without adding a single calorie
to your daily intake. It's when we begin jazzing up our java that we get in
I know half-and-half contains 40 calories
and 3 grams of fat per TWO TABLESPOON serving, yet I cannot enjoy my morning
coffee without an unhealthy serving of it!
The fancy, frothy drinks whipped up at your
local coffee shop are worse... much worse.
In the image that graces the picture
version of this Worst of the Worst Foods newsletter, eDiets staffer Nick
Dominguez sips a Mocha Coconut Frappuccino from Starbucks. The creamy
concoction contains coffee, chocolate and coconut flakes blended with ice,
topped with whipped cream, mocha syrup and coconut flakes.
A 16-ounce serving (the medium-sized
offering) packs 390 calories and 20 grams of fat, according to a Starbucks
spokesperson. I had to phone Customer Service (1-800-235-2883) to get those
numbers. The fact that Starbucks won't easily part with its nutritional info
tells me they'd rather keep the consumer in the dark. I tried to get a general
rundown of the many drinks offered at the many Starbucks franchises, but was
told they can only provide me with the numbers for specific menu choices. The
person I spoke to did hint that the Starbucks website -- www.starbucks.com --
may one day provide the numbers. Don't hold your breath. Note: "Nutrition
Information" is now available at
the nutritional info on your favorite Dunkin' Donuts drinks and eats go to
While I had a living, breathing person on
the phone, I also asked about the Iced Caramel Macchiato (250 calories, 9 grams
of fat), the Caffe Mocha Espresso (370 calories, 21 grams of fat) and the
frozen summertime special Creme Frappuccino ( 470 calories and 17 grams of
It's easy to see how one or two of these
treats a day can doom any diet. But don't despair. You can have your coffee and
drink it too. Rewarding yourself with a high-cal specialty coffee every once in
a while is okay. Life without goodies like this would be plain boring. And it's
a proven fact that deprivation does not make for a diet that works.
eDiets director of nutrition Susan Burke
notes: "The secret of keeping healthy and at your goal weight is making healthy
choices wherever you go. You can make healthy choices even in coffee drinks.
Lower the fat by requesting nonfat or low-fat milk. Control the amount of sugar
by requesting non-sweetened drinks, or add your own sugar or artificial
sweetener if you prefer."
Good advice. But then, what would expect
from the women who oversees the diet plan for
the world's number one online weight loss
A while back Susan wrote this eye-opening
featurette for one of our many info-packed newsletters:
Coffee, in moderation, is fine. There is
nothing wrong with a little cream and sugar (again, moderation in all things!)
However, one of the fatty Coolatta coffee drinks served up by Dunkin' Donuts
has over 400 calories, 22 grams of fat and 14 grams of saturated fat!
Thats as much as a Quarter Pounder or two chocolate frosted
Don't forget the 50 grams of sugar per
serving -- thats about 12.5 teaspoons of added sugar! To add insult to
injury: youll also get 75 milligrams of cholesterol from the cream.
Portion size counts! If you order a large drink, just think... you are getting
a lot more calories, sugar and fat!
Instead of a frozen coffee drink with over
400 calories and 22 grams of fat, not to mention all the added sugar, order a
large iced coffee with nonfat or 1% milk, and sweeten with two packets of sugar
for about 180 calories and no fat. Each teaspoon of sugar adds about 16
calories. An iced coffee with milk gives you an added bonus of 60% of your
daily value for calcium and 20% of your daily value for vitamin A.
If you like a creamier drink,
order iced coffee with 2% milk. For 240 calories and 2 grams of fat, its
still a much better bargain for your health. When you make healthy choices
wherever you go, you can easily reach your healthy weight and stay there.
Thank you Susan. Yes, it's a good time to
stop and smell the coffee my friends. Studies show only 35% of coffee drinkers
prefer their coffee black, while 62% add a sweetener and/or creaming agent.
With that in mind, here is more eye-opening insight from the eDiets
Lose Weight On Your Coffee Break
While many experienced dieters know coffee
is fair game on a weight-loss plan, the rules have changed since designer
coffee bars have had their way with regular java. If your morning ritual
involves a stop at the local coffee chain, you could be getting a slew of
unwanted calories and fat grams. To help you keep losing without giving up that
cup of joe, weve identified five common coffee-bar diet dangers and
provided some satisfying alternatives:
1. Specialty Drinks
If it sounds
indulgent, theres a good chance that it is. For example, a 12-ounce cup of the
ever-popular Starbuck Caramel Macchiato packs 254 calories and 8 grams of fat,
while a typical cafe mocha with whipped cream has 340 calories and 21 grams of
fat. Even a hot chocolate or latte made with whole milk and topped off with
whipped cream tips the scale.
Better bets: A 12-ounce latte with fat-free
milk still packs 161 calories, so choose a nonfat cappuccino and youll
cut that number down to 110 calories. Why not go back to the basics with a
classic cup of brewed coffee and fat-free milk?
2. Trendy Tea
sounds like a healthier option and in most cases, it is. But order a Chai Tea
Latte (a blend of black tea, spices and in some cases, sugar) and youll get a
hefty dose of more than 200 calories along with those nutrients and
antioxidants (even if you request fat-free milk).
Better bets: Stick with a cup of soothing
herbal tea, or the more traditional black or green tea. Simply flavor with
lemon or a splash of fat-free milk.
3. Syrups and Toppers
Opt for a
vanilla nonfat latte over a regular nonfat latte and youre adding about 75
calories. Why the jump? Each shot of vanilla, amaretto or hazelnut flavoring
adds from 65 to 75 calories. Top that off with some whipped cream and youll get
a whopping 150 calories and 12 grams of fat.
Better bets: Go with the least number of
bells and whistles -- youll also make things easier on those overworked
coffee shop counterworkers during rush hour too.
4. Self-Serve Add-Ins
teaspoons of sugar can tack on 50 calories or more to your coffee (powdered
cocoa and natural sugar contribute a similar number). Definitely skip the
half-and-half and whole milk.
Better bets: If you must sweeten or flavor
your drink, use an artificial sweetener, or a dash of more festive nutmeg or
cinnamon, and youll get fewer calories.
5. Sweets and Treats
houses stock plenty of pastries, muffins and donuts for dunking. And some have
enough calories and fat to replace a meal and a half! For instance, a piece of
Starbucks Blueberry Crumb Cake packs a staggering 800 calories and 38 grams of
fat. Even the chains Maple Oat-Nut Scone (which sounds healthier) has 570
calories and 29 grams of fat. Make a Krispy Kreme donut your sidekick and
supply another 210 calories and 12 grams fat. Even a low-fat muffin can have
upwards of 300 calories, if its loaded with sugar. The Starbucks banana and nut
muffin pads your waistline with 230 calories and 2 grams of fat.
Better bet: Enjoy your beverage by itself,
or choose biscotti, which are naturally lower in fat and calories than other
sweet treats. A small piece of angel food cake or a fat-free, sugar-free muffin
will also do less diet damage.
Worried that you are downing too much
coffee a day? Health experts say as long as you keep it in moderation (about
250 milligrams or two 8-ounce cups a day), its probably safe to enjoy
Signs you are overdoing it: dizziness,
insomnia, shakiness and gastrointestinal problems. Nervousness, anxiety and
rapid heartbeat can strike the more caffeine-sensitive drinker.
Hi John, Have you checked out Taco
Bell's new rice dish with the steak asada -- looks like lots of fat? If you
have let me know. Somehow you can describe it so well that if it is a "worst"
dish I don't even get tempted. Thanks,
Well Tina, according to the official Taco
Bell website (www.tacobell.com) the 15.5-ounce Southwest Steak Bowl has 660
calories, 33 grams of fat (51% of your daily recommended intake) 9 grams
saturated fat (45%), 60mg cholesterol (20%), 2,160mg sodium (90%), 66 grams
carbs (22%), 12 grams fiber (48%), 3 grams sugar and 28 grams protein.
One day my husband wanted
to grab a quick bite. I suggested that we try Burger King since they offer the
veggie burger. All I can say is don't waste your money! I wouldn't get it
again. Not when I can buy veggie burger patties at the store that I can barely
tell are not 100% beef. This thing looked as if they took leftover french fries
and mushed them into a patty. And instead of loading it up with healthy lettuce
and tomato, they short-change you on that!!! I wasn't very pleased. I did eat
it, but only because I was hungry. I was really surprised at how crummy the BK
Veggie Whopper was.
I hope that this is printed so others can read and not
be as dissatisfied as I was. However if someone would like to take their
chances and try it ask for extra lettuce and tomatoes and tell them to put
mustard instead of mayo. I can say at least they're trying to broaden their
menu to please the public taste buds. It's a step in the right direction I
Thanks for writing Ramona. For all you
readers wondering just how healthy this veggie burger is, I checked out the
official Burger King website (www.burgerking.com) and discovered the sandwich
has 360 calories, 13 grams of fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, 850mg
sodium, 46 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar and 13 grams protein.
HINT: Ask for mustard instead of the mayo-based sauce and you'll bypass a lot
of the fat.
I feel the obesity problem in America
will have to be "solved" through education rather than be enforced in some way
that questions our rights to choose. I'm still 18 and I have never been
overweight, but I used to eat mindlessly without giving adequate thought to
what I was shoving in my mouth. Being young, I "got away with it" and never
felt uncomfortable with my body, but coming from a family whose history is full
of diabetes (developed later in life) obesity, cancer and heart problems, I'm
glad that I have become increasingly aware of different foods and their
healthier alternatives. My metabolism will certainly begin to slow down and had
my bad eating habits continued, they may have affected me later in life,
especially since my genetics indicate I'm an easy target. I think more effort
needs to be made in this country to provide the information some never take the
initiative to seek on their own about food, especially fast food and restaurant
food. While glowing yellow McDonald's arches and Chili's baby back ribs ads may
be bombarded at us daily, making our mouths water, there is very little
in-your-face information about nutrition and few bother to seek the discreet
information there is. We need a serious increase in education, beginning from a
young age, and something a little more informative than a poster of the food
pyramid in the nurse's office please!
I love reading about the "Worst Foods"
just so I can laugh at how gullible people are for eating/buying this stuff! I
mean really, with over half the population overweight, Type 2 diabetes on the
rise in adults AND CHILDREN -- what are people thinking when they buy this
stuff? I am a working mother with a child and I wouldn't serve any of this
junk. Whatever happened to steamed vegetables and fresh fruit? I prepare both
nightly and it's EXTREMELY EASY.
My daughter eats at McDonald's about twice
a year and that's a BIG treat. I can't feel sorry for people who are overweight
and care little about nutrition. Yes, it's hard when you work and have to put a
meal together but it can be done. We've just gotten used to eating simple
healthy meals (my 7-year-old daughter loves to eat salad) and we remain healthy
and at a good weight. I don't buy cookies, ice cream, or any other junk food.
My daughter has never even had a Twinkie. No, I am not a mean mother. She
doesn't know the difference. When she's at a friend's house and she gets
something like that she's thrilled. I don't take her grocery shopping with me
for that very reason.
I realize I'm probably considered a "nutcase" but at
least I won't have to worry about heart disease and diabetes and neither will
LEAVE 'EM LAUGHING
Susan Gahagan writes: Here's the final word
on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those
conflicting medical studies!
--The Japanese eat very little fat and
suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
--The French eat a lot of fat and also
suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
--The Japanese drink very little red wine
and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
--The Italians drink excessive amounts of
red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.
CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you!
Until next week, the kitchen is closed. But
if you have any questions and/or comments -- or a tasteful joke to share --
feel free to write me, eDiets editor-in-chief John McGran, at