Upscale coffee drinks almost as caloric as Big Mac
Starbucks' Caramel Frappuccino - a blend of coffee, milk, caramel and ice capped with whipped cream and a swirl of caramel is a tempting treat.
But at 525 calories for a venti, or 24-ounce cup, it's nearly as decadent as a Big Mac, which weighs in at about 560 calories.
That's a third of most people's daily allowance of calories; add a couple of colas and you've consumed 1,300 calories - without taking a single bite of food.
Most women will maintain their weight on about 1,600 or 1,700 calories a day. Researchers revealed last year that beverages, whether coffee, soda or cocktails, have become one of the main sources of calories for most Americans. Even fruit juices, with natural sugar content, have come under attack.
And although they might be high in calories and fat, liquids usually don't make people feel full. But if you have a sugar containing soda, it causes your blood sugar to rise rapidly. Then your body secretes and releases a lot of insulin rapidly so it could get into your cells. It wipes that sugar out of your bloodstream really fast . . . whenever you have high insulin; you're going to be hungry.
So the calories vested in a venti Frappuccino would best be consumed elsewhere. You can have eight ounces of skim milk, half a cup of fruit, two slices of toast or a whole bagel, and two ounces of meat or two egg whites for what you would get in a Frappuccino. You get a lot more fiber, a lot more psychological enjoyment from chewing the food, a wider variety of vitamins and minerals, and it'll help keep your glucose more normal longer.
Enjoying a frothy drink need not be a guilty pleasure. Many coffee shops, including Starbucks offer a line of sugar free and fat free drinks. Lattes, cappuccinos could be done with skim milk. If you have a regular cappuccino without syrup, that's maybe 80 calories. Lattes with skim milk are about 120 calories. It's better than a Coke, but not as good as a Diet Coke.