Tag Archives: sugar

What Kind of Calories Are Lurking In Your Morning Coffee?

Lets face it, many of us (including myself) enjoy a good cup of coffee. Some drink coffee for the taste, others to wake up or for some it is just a habit or break from the daily grind. It has become a social thing for us, we have coffee at meetings, functions and often meet friends and chat over a steaming hot cup of “joe”.

While there have been many studies that have reaped the benefits of a good organic free trade cup of coffee, what we are putting in this coffee is another story.

Lets look at the hidden calories in coffee that are contributing to our ever growing waste lines.

Hidden Calories

Coffee itself has virtually no calories, however very few of us will drink our coffee black.

The new guidelines are suggesting that we limit our added sugar intake to no more than 100 calories for women and 150 calories for men a day.

  • 1 tsp or packet of sugar = 20 calories
  • 1 pump of flavoured coffee syrup  = 20 calories (usually there are 3-4 pumps/drink)
  • Whip = 60-110 calories

Lets look at some of the sugar in your favourite drinks:

  • Grande Chai Tea Latte Starbuck – 8 tsp sugar, 128 calories of added sugar
  • Grande Green Tea Latte – 91/2 tsp sugar, 152 calories of added sugar
  • Grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte – 41/2 tsp sugar, 72 calories of added sugar
  • Hot Chocolate – 6 tsp sugar, 96 calories of added sugar
  • 14oz Iced Cap from Tim Hortons – 11 ½ tsp sugar, 184 calories of added sugar
  • 10oz Hot Chocolate from Tim Hortons – 9 ½ tsp sugar, 152 calories of added sugar

If you have these occasionally, no problem..we can all indulge. However, if you are having these on a daily basis you need to consider how much extra sugar you are pumping through your system!

Artificial Sweeteners, They’re Better, Right?

So what about the no sugar syrups or artificial sweeteners? We know that long term intake of these things is not natural or good for your health. They have been associated with many neurological conditions, as well as aggravating certain neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Multiple Sclerosis.

We suggest that you use real sugar in moderation.

If you are a “double double” person, consider this…

One Suggestion

If you drink a 10oz “double double” you are consuming 150 more calories than if you drink black coffee. If that is too extreme, switching to double milk and double sugar will reduce your calories by 40 per 10oz cup.

What if you stopped the sweet and just added a single milk? You would save 130 calories per 10oz cup.   You have to ask yourself…if you are drinking that double double, are you drinking it because you like the taste of coffee, or sugar?

Saving this 120 calories every day is significant, as it has been shown that as little as a 100calories more a day than your body requires will put on 10lbs per year.

Make a conscious choice of where your calories and added sugars are coming from!!

How to Read Food Labels

There is a lot of confusion around labels, and what is actually good for you. We went through a whole low fat craze, which actually in turn made people more fat!! Now we see many labels making claims…like high fibre, low sodium. The problem is, we need to be label savvy as a lot of this is great marketing. They replace one bad thing with another and trick us into thinking the product is good for us.

So, here is what to look for…

Serving Size

On the nutritional facts, there will be a serving size listed. For cereal or grains it might say 1/2cup, for bars it might say 1. This is important to note, as most of the higher calorie items are 2 cookies, or 10chips.  This isn’t a lot of food for this many calories, which is why these foods must be limited. They are called empty calories, meaning they hold very little nutrition for their caloric punch


Fats are a very confusing topic for most people. I still get many people in my office that are afraid to eat things like nuts or avocado for fear of getting fat.

These good fats actually help your body to burn weight…not put it on.

The inflammatory or toxic fats are the ones we want to reduce, but we need to increase our consumption of the good fats.

Fats to Avoid – Many processed foods, will also contain processed fats. These are fats that help to add flavour and stabilize the shelf life of the food.  We want to avoid the following fats as much as possible – hydrogenated fats, partially hydrogenated fats. We want to greatly limit things like vegetable oil, corn oil or soybean oil as most of the time they are highly processed. So, if you see a product that claims to be high in fibre, but also has these fats in it…this is not something that you should be eating every day

Fats to include – things like nuts and seeds (except peanuts), avocado, olive oil, hemp seeds/oil, flax seeds/oil, olives, fish. These products contain the good fats, that will help us with cardiovascular function, weight loss and management, skin health, brain health and much more.


Many of the processed foods will replace fats for sugar, or they add sugar to compensate for the increase in fibre (to still allow the product to taste great). White sugar is very inflammatory in the body and in increased quantities contributes to lowered immune system, weight gain and insulin resistance. When looking at a product it is important to make sure to look at the amount of sugar per serving as well as the type of sugar used.  Healthy products will use less than 9g of sugar per serving.

Healthy sugars to look for are things like brown rice syrup, agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, dates, dried fruit, organic cane sugar.

Sometimes when you look at some of the natural bars you will see that they have more sugar in them than 9g/serving.  If they are more, but they contain the natural sugars as oppose to white sugar, they are okay to consume. Lara bars are a good example of this


Don’t be fooled…even some of the soups in the health food section of the grocery store contain more sodium than they should. Sodium in excess quantities can cause problems with water retention and blood pressure. It is advised to keep your daily sodium intake to 2400mg, with an individual product being around 200mg. Most of the convenience food like frozen dinners and packaged soups can contain up to 700-900mg of sodium per serving.  Therefore it is best to cook your own food, or make sure that what you are eating on a consistent basis is not too high in sodium.  Celtic sea salt is not processed, and the trace minerals are not stripped like in regular table salt. Therefore it does not have the same effect of blood pressure and water retention. If you are going to use salt, you can use sea salt sparingly, but also try to find other ways to spice your food like lemon juice or herbs.

Having the ability to be able to understand labels, will help keep you and your family healthy.