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Calories in coffee

An old Turkish saying says, “Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.” Of course, this says nothing about how healthy it is, but only points to the emotional attachment that all coffee lovers have. People can get passionate about their coffee, and most coffee drinkers drink it regularly.

You may think that coffee is high in calories, but it is not so. According to the USDA, a cup of freshly ground coffee (about 8 ounces) contains just 2 calories. So, if you drink your coffee ‘black as hell’, you’re hardly getting any calories.
The calories in coffee come from mono-unsaturated oils and very small amounts of protein.

But, there’s a catch. The moment you add milk and sugar into coffee, the calorie contents shoot up. That’s why it’s impossible to say how many calories there are in your cup of coffee. Few people, even coffee lovers, can enjoy a cup of coffee without any sugar, since caffeine is bitter to taste. Coffee drinks in restaurants typically have large amounts of milk, sugar, ice-cream, and different flavoured syrups. All these ingredients are high in sugar and calories. Put them all together in a small glass, and coffee does become a high calorie drink!

Take a look at the calorie values of some of the popular coffee drinks you find in restaurants. A cappuccino has about 130 calories, while a latte has 180. A mocha, which is full of chocolate and sugar, can have up to a whopping 330 calories. A peppermint white chocolate mocha at Starbucks has up to 560 calories. As you can see, it’s the extras that you put into your coffee that carry all the calories. A tablespoon of cream has 52 calories, while a spoon of sugar has about 48. Non-dairy creamers contain 33 calories per spoon.

As you can see, it’s not the coffee itself, but what you put in it that adds the calories. Unfortunately, most of these calories are empty; this means that they come from sugar and sweeteners. It indicates that the body cannot utilise these calories for anything, and therefore, must get rid of them. If you’re not exercising enough, they just add up as fat.

So the best option, if you enjoy coffee, is to drink an Americano, which is espresso and water. If you can stomach it, just have an espresso. These basic drinks also have lower caffeine content, as they have been brewed for shorter amounts of time.

Submitted on January 16, 2014