Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans. Caffeine, a stimulant is naturally found in coffee at about 1-2% concentration by weight. The two most common sources of caffeine are the coffee bean and the kola nut. A cup of coffee contains up to 75 mg of caffeine, depending on what it is made from.
Coffee can also be made by adding flavored syrup to coffee with milk, called a latte. The most popular flavors of flavored coffee are vanilla, caramel, mocha, and hazelnut. A medium-sized latte with whole milk is packed with 66 grams of sugar! A wide range of “coffee flavorings” or “coffee flavoring syrups” are added to the coffee, and they’re typically made with corn syrup, artificial flavors, and additives.
The Dark Truth Behind Flavored Coffee
The dark truth is that flavored coffee has no nutritional value and is full of sugar and calories. An average cup of flavored coffee with milk contains over 110% percent of your recommended daily intake of sugar.
Is Flavored Coffee Bad for Us?
The American Heart Association recommends that you limit added sugars to 9 teaspoons a day for men and 6 teaspoons a day for women. The Center for Science in the Public Interest states that there is scientific agreement linking sugar-sweetened drinks with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease, among other illnesses.
The artificial flavors do not improve the flavor of the coffee, and it does not make it healthier. The only purpose of the artificial flavors is to mask the taste of bad-tasting coffee. They’re full of sugar and fake ingredients, don’t drink them! Stick to plain old black coffee or add milk and honey for a flavored coffee alternative.
However, there are some flavored coffees that contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives and only 16 grams (3 teaspoons) of sugar per cup. You can make black flavored coffee, which is made with simply black coffee beans and has no added flavor at all. This drink provides the body with more health benefits since it doesn’t contain any added sugars.
For those who are looking to cut down on their coffee intake but still enjoy the taste, they can choose decaf over regular coffee. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that caffeine could raise blood sugar levels, which is bad if you have diabetes. A 12-ounce decaf coffee has roughly 11 grams of sugar while a flavored latte with whole milk has 66 grams of sugar.
Some Harmful Artificial Ingredients in Flavored Coffee
Common ingredients for flavors include:
1) natural and artificial flavorings which contain propylene glycol, acetyl alcohol, and many more chemicals. They also include ingredients like xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, and sodium benzoate which are preservatives that stop mold formation on the coffee.
2) artificial sweeteners like sucralose (Splenda), aspartame (Equal), or saccharin (SugarTwin) can cause weight gain since they increase appetite and sugar cravings.
3) caramel color is made from ammonia and contains the carcinogen 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI).
4) dextrose or maltodextrin, which are fillers that add bulk to products without adding much nutritional value. They also promote inflammation and diabetes.
5) oil of wintergreen or peppermint, which can be harmful if ingested orally.
6) sugar and high fructose corn syrup are the most dangerous ingredients in flavored coffee since they raise blood sugar levels and promote weight gain as well as type 2 diabetes.
What Are Some Good Alternatives to Artificial Flavors?
The only artificial coffee flavors that are worth consuming are ones made with natural ingredients. For example, flavoring made from real vanilla beans or fruit juice concentrate is better than artificial ones. Try some flavored coffee without all the sugar and chemicals by adding milk, honey, or cinnamon to your black coffee.
Is Coffee Bad for Us?
No, not necessarily. It all comes down to how you are treating the natural coffee that doesn’t have any added flavors or syrups. Keep in mind that caffeine can increase blood pressure and elevate cortisol levels, which leads to weight gain, insulin resistance, and increased belly fat. If you have a cup or two of coffee a day, it should be fine. However, if you need to take in 4-5 cups a day to function properly, then something is wrong and you should cut back.
The best way to avoid the dangers of drinking too much coffee is by alternating between caffeinated and decaffeinated. If you drink decaf, don’t drink the same brand every day. It’s important to switch it up in order to avoid caffeine tolerance, which means drinking more and more each time you have coffee.
Coffee isn’t all that bad for you since it is associated with some health benefits such as reducing the risk of depression, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. It can also have a positive effect on your metabolic rate. The main problem with drinking coffee is that most people add sugar or cream to it which negates any health benefit.
So, what do you drink if you don’t want the health benefits of coffee but still want to avoid added sugars? Try adding cinnamon, cocoa powder, and a natural sweetener like stevia for flavor. Or simply try black coffee, which reduces the risk of diabetes and contains no sugar.
How to Brew a Perfect Flavored Coffee?
The best way to make flavored coffee is by using natural ingredients like fresh fruit, cinnamon sticks, or vanilla beans. You could also try making your own almond milk and adding it to your black coffee for a flavored drink.
1) Prepare 1 cup of coarsely ground coffee (preferably organic fair trade) in a french press.
2) Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the coffee grounds and let it steep for 4-5 minutes.
3) Strain the coffee through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer to remove any excess residue.
4) Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter or coconut oil to increase your fat intake without adding too many calories.
5) Add 2-3 tablespoons of almond milk or any other type of milk you like and sweeten to taste.
Healthiest Way to Flavor Coffee
1) Add cinnamon sticks, whole vanilla beans, cocoa powder, or fresh fruit to your coffee grounds before brewing.
2) Mix 2 tablespoons of almond milk, coconut milk, organic heavy cream, grass-fed butter, and sweetener such as stevia together in a blender. Pour the mixture over your coffee before drinking.
Coffee is good for you in moderation, but it’s best to avoid flavored coffee since it contains additives that are harmful to your health. The best way to flavor coffee is by using natural ingredients like fresh fruit, cocoa powder, spices, and milk.
Hi my name is Larry, a coffee aficionado from the US. I have already visited Colombia, Sumatra, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ethiopia and Jamaica in my pursuit of finding the best-tasting coffee beans. I currently write from Bali and enjoy the relaxed life that you can only find in Canggu. Welcome to my coffee world!