The answer is…it can be.
About 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee every day. So, how does coffee affect our health? Recent studies indicate there are positive outcomes depending on our intake and what we put in our coffee. Moderate consumption of coffee may contribute to reduction of disease risks. These diseases include but are not limited to diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, and cirrhosis.
However, drinking too much coffee has a downside. Although a cup of coffee (plain) has about 2 calories, many of us prefer to drink our coffee sweetened. Adding ingredients like sugar, flavored syrups, and cream dramatically increases total calories and fat. For example, a 16-ounce (or grande) Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte (made with 2% milk and whipped cream) contains 380 calories, 14gm of fat, and 50gm of sugar…that’s over 12 teaspoons! [source ] This is a lot more than our bodies need.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommend that we limit added sugar to less than 10 percent of our total calories. This could range from 6 to 12 teaspoons depending on our caloric requirements.
In addition, high consumption of caffeinated coffee can also have a negative impact on birth outcomes. Although studies aren’t entirely conclusive, there is a greater chance of late miscarriage and/or stillbirth among women who have a high caffeine intake.
Before you order or make that next cup of coffee, be mindful of what additional ingredients you put in it.
Check out these resources for more information:
Coffee and Health (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/multimedia-article/benefits/)