A recent report in The Journal Of The American Dietetic Association revealed that non-alcoholic beverages account for almost one quarter of Americans' calorie intake and half of all their added sugar. The American nutritional advocacy group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, now says anyone who feels virtuous for grabbing a Starbucks latte, rather than something from McDonald's, is misguided.
Caffeine is thought to prevent memory loss in old age and can cut the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Researchers in the Netherlands analysed cognitive decline in elderly men and found it to be four times greater in non-coffee drinkers than in those who drank three cups a day.
"Most people wouldn't consider packing in a quarter-pounder between breakfast and lunch," says the centre's nutritionist, Jayne Hurley.
"But it's perfectly possible to get more than 500 calories in a Starbucks drink. Many people assume that drinks are not calorific, but some contain huge amounts of calories and fat, "Some of the fashionable gourmet teas and coffees have the same number of calories as a small meal and should be drunk infrequently and with caution."" says Bridget Aisbitt, a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation.
Here's how to make your daily cup healthier..
1 Ask for non-fat milk
2 Skip the whip (Whipped cream adds 7g of bad fat)
3 Skip sugar, 10 calories per sachet and syrups 70 calories per shot
4 Low-fat milky drinks contribute around 200mg of calcium,
The best sources include a skim milk latte and a skim café mocha
5 Avoid adding sugary toppings to your coffee,
Chocolate and caramel add between 6 and 15 calories