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Is coffee sabotaging your diet?

27 March 2014, 12:50Kim van Reizig

Abuja - The ubiquitous “cuppa coffee” can pick you up, chill you out and even bring some benefits to your body and brain. But this beloved beverage could be sabotaging your diet.

Coffee certainly is the best "pick me upper" around, but if you’re watching your weight that cappuccino at breakfast, coffee with milk at 10am, caffé latte after lunch and iced coffee in the evening are all adding kilojoules to your diet.

On its own, coffee has no kilojoules and is packed with healthy antioxidants. In fact, according to dietitian Martie de Wet, it could be considered a better breakfast option than for instance sweetened orange juice because it contains far fewer kilojoules.

But just how bad is a double-froth, super-sized choccoccino? And how does it compare with a basic cup of filter?

Coffee crib sheet
Check out the following coffee crib sheet by dieticians Martie de Wet and Megan Pentz-Kluyts:

Black coffee: Instant or ground coffee with no milk, no sugar                                                                                   
Fat content: 0g                                                                                                                                                   
Kilojoules: 0 kJ                                        

Filter coffee with milk: Four parts coffee and one part milk, one spoon sugar                                          

Fat content: 3.32 g             
Kilojoules: 257.2kJ                                                                                                                                                  
Café mocha (also called choccocino): One part espresso, three parts full-cream milk, two tablespoons cocoa powder and a dollop of cream

Fat content: 14,92 g                                                                                                                                               
Kilojoules: 1 221,95 kJ                                                                                                                                             

Iced coffee: One part espresso, one part full-cream milk, two tablespoons coffee creamer

Fat content: 18,14 g                                                                                                                                            
Kilojoules: 1 480,4 kJ                                                                                                                                             

Cappuccino: One part espresso, one part full-cream milk, one part foamed milk                                              
Fat content: 6,64 g                                                                                                                                                 
Kilojoules: 514,4 kJ                                                                                                                                                  
Caffé latte: One part espresso, three parts full-cream milk                                                                                          
Fat content: 9.12 g
Kilojoules: 7,40,7 kJ                                                                                                                                                  

Think before you drink
Most coffee houses and home coffee machines are now adding luscious (but kilojoule-laden) extras such as cream, syrup, chocolate and sprinklings of cocoa powder to their rich and creamy blends.

To make matters worse, many of us have graduated from a single morning pick-me-up cup to multiple refills throughout the day.

Try these easy kilojoule-cutting tactics when making or ordering coffee:

Stick to skinny. When ordering at a coffee bar, ask the barista what kind of milk is available and always opt for low-fat or skimmed milk if they have it.
Cut the cream. Choose foam over whipped cream and halve the kilojoule content of your cup.

Be sweet-smart. Use sweetener instead of sugar. While sugar contains no fat, just two teaspoons pack 162 kJ.

Downsize. By choosing a smaller cup you get to have your tasty fix and cut the kilojoules.

Top it off. The chocolate shavings and sprinkles melt away in a second but they add unnecessary kilojoules

Strike a balance. If you can’t do without three caffé lattes a day, give up a slice or two of bread to balance your overall energy intake.

- Health24

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