The Growing Popularity of Cold Brew and Iced Lattes
Although coffee is typically associated with being a hot beverage, the rise of cold brew and iced lattes has been challenging this perception, even during the winter months. Starbucks, a prominent coffee chain, reported that a significant portion of its U.S. sales in 2022 came from iced drinks, according to one industry report.
Refreshing but not Always Healthy
While chilled coffee drinks may provide a refreshing experience, it is essential to note that pre-made lattes and other coffee drinks often contain high levels of dairy fat and sugar, regardless of their temperature. As an example, let’s take a look at a specific drink from Starbucks – the 16-ounce Cinnamon Caramel Cream Cold Brew. This beverage alone contains 250 calories, 12 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, and a staggering 32 grams of sugar. These numbers translate to more than half of the recommended saturated fat intake per day, as suggested by the American Heart Association (AHA).
It’s important to be aware of the hidden dangers present in these popular coffee drinks. Whipped cream, toppings, and flavored sugar can significantly contribute to the overall calorie, fat, and sugar content. These added extras may enhance the taste but could have adverse effects on your health if consumed regularly and in large quantities.
Fortunately, there are healthier alternatives to consider when craving a cold coffee fix. One option is to make your own cold brew at home. This DIY approach allows you to control the ingredients and adjust the sweetness and fat content to your preference. Another alternative is to choose lower-calorie and lower-sugar options offered by coffee chains. Many establishments now offer dairy-free and sugar-free alternatives, allowing you to enjoy your favorite flavors without the guilt.
Be Mindful of Portions
While opting for healthier alternatives, it’s crucial to still be mindful of portion sizes. Despite choosing a lower-fat or lower-sugar option, consuming excessive amounts can still result in calorie overload. Moderation is key to maintaining a balanced and healthy diet.
The growing popularity of cold brew and iced lattes has sparked a revolution in the coffee industry. However, it’s important to be aware of the potentially unhealthy aspects of these drinks, such as high levels of dairy fat and added sugars. By making informed choices, considering healthier alternatives, and being mindful of portion sizes, you can still enjoy the refreshing taste of cold coffee while keeping your health in check. Drink responsibly, and savor every sip with a clear understanding of what you’re consuming.