By Christine Dailey
It’s finally iced coffee season and soon enough everybody will be looking for something to sip on to cool off. Whether you’re an iced tea or coffee drinker, it’s important not to get carried away with sugars and add-ons that will give you a calorie overload. Registered Dietitian Lauren Ahola has eight tips on how to keep your iced beverage on the healthy side.
- 1. The healthiest way to drink your iced beverage is black. However, we understand that not everyone has the taste buds to handle it straight up. If you’re willing to give it a try, keep in mind that the first couple times will be hard. Your drink will taste harsh, but after you drink it black a few times you’ll get used to the taste – you’ll even enjoy it!
- 2. Don’t overload your drink with sugar. We know it tastes better sweet, but coffee shops often overdo it. Be in control of what goes into your drink by ordering it black and adding your own sweetener and milk.
- 3. Cut out calories and fat by using low-fat, fat-free or milk alternatives such as almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk. You can further reduce sugar by using unsweetened almond milk, coconut and soy milk. Many of the milk alternatives are naturally sweet so they may even allow you to ditch the sugar altogether.
- 4. If you enjoy flavored coffee, opt for naturally flavored coffee beans instead of pumps of flavored syrup. Same thing with tea – there are tons of naturally flavored teas to choose from.
- 5. If you use sugar regularly, try gradually reducing the number of packets you add. Or try using a natural sweetener such as Stevia to save calories and unwanted added sugars.
- 6. Top your iced coffee with cinnamon or cocoa powder for extra flavor and an antioxidant boost.
- 7. Enhance unsweetened ice tea with fruit such as lemon, oranges, melon or berries.
- 8. Remember, specialty coffee and tea drinks are usually desserts. Save them for special occasions and skip the whip cream to save 100 calories and 10 grams of fat.