For many people Christmas doesn’t officially begin until the first sip of gingerbread latte from a paper cup festooned in festive cheer. This time of year the coffee shops really go to town with their indulgent Christmas offerings, some of which sound more like drinkable desserts, such as the “Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte” from Starbucks, or Caffè Nero’s “Luxury Black Forest Mocha”.
Back in October last year we looked at the lower risk of heart attack and stroke in light to moderate coffee drinkers (click here to read the article) but this has to be offset by the very high sugar, fat, and calorie content of many of these drinks. For example a large (venti) Gingerbread Frappuccino (whole milk) from Starbucks contains 398 calories and 51.7 g of sugar, whilst a medium Terry’s Chocolate Orange Hot Chocolate & Light Dairy Swirl from Costa, again with whole milk, contains 376 calories and 41.7 g of sugar. To put that into context, adults are recommended not to exceed 30 g of sugar per day, and 1 g of sugar to look at is about a quarter of a teaspoonful.
Just 100 calories per day more than we need can lead to a weight gain of a stone over the course of a year, so it is worth paying attention to these “hidden” calories. Each of the main high street coffee chains has the nutritional information about its drinks online, making it easier to think before you drink: