The sun is out, summer days are here and so are summer specialty beverages. But do you really know what’s in that refreshing granita or creamy Iced Capp you’re sipping?
Tactful marketing misleads many of us into making decisions that can have alarming effects on our blood sugar and cholesterol. As a dietitian, I can’t even tell you how many of my patients frequent Tim Hortons two to three times a day and order a “Double-double,” believing that their coffee contains just two teaspoons of sugar when in reality it contains much more.
It’s time to get real. Here are the real amounts of sugar in popular coffee shop drinks.
Specimen A: Tim Hortons’ Iced Capp (Large)
This sweet summertime treat has 15.5 teaspoons of sugar, 12 grams saturated fat and 470 calories!
To put that in perspective, a can of coke has about 10 teaspoons of sugar and 140 calories.
Specimen B: Starbucks’ Strawberry Lemon Limade Granita (Venti)
New to the Starbucks menu, this refreshing granita just screams summer! But know that the Venti is pumped with—surprise—14.5 teaspoons of sugar.
Specimen C: Tim Hortons’ Double Double (Large)
Canada’s national coffee order. A large cup will give you your morning coffee buzz along with 7.5 teaspoons of sugar (not 2 teaspoons), 8 grams saturated fat, which is almost 50 per cent of your saturated fat for the day, and 264 calories.
Specimen D: Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte (Venti)
This fall cult classic contains 16 teaspoons of sugar, 12 grams of saturated fat (when made with whole milk), and 520 calories, which could be the amount of calories in an entire meal!
Specimen E: Second Cup’s Strawberry Real Fruit Smoothie (24 ounces)
There’s more than just real fruit is in this smoothie! The 24 ounce cup contains a shocking 38.5 teaspoons of sugar and 730 calories, but who cares since it contains 300% of our Vitamin C, right? Don’t be fooled by the marketing!
Many of us tend to focus on the nutrition, sugar and fat content in our food but we forget about what’s in our beverages! But if you’re trying to manage your health, weight, blood sugar, or cholesterol, it’s important to not only consider what is in your food but in your drinks too.
Small changes can make big differences. When ordering your next beverage consider one of the tips below:
- Try skim or 1% milk instead of cream
- Try a flavorful full leaf tea, they can be served warm or even ice-cold for hot summer days
- Consider skipping the whipped cream
- Try soy milk when you’re craving a creamy texture
- Ask for sugar packets on the side so you can control how much sugar is added to your coffee
- Or try less sugar and add in cinnamon and nutmeg to boost flavour
- Ask for half the amount of flavour shots or “half sweet”
- Downsize. Try ordering a small instead of the large
- Take a peek at the nutrition information online for more insight into what is actually going into your body
For more nutrition articles, recipes, and to connect with me, visit RADNUT. Here’s to a refreshing, healthy, happy summer!