Most of us can’t start the day without a cup of coffee. And while some people prefer the taste of black coffee or have trained to enjoy it, you’re probably used to sweetening it with creamer or a sweetener of your choice. While coffee itself isn’t bad for you, loading it with high-sugar additives can have negative health effects. Artificial sweeteners are especially tricky, as they can be sneaky with the amount of sugar they actually contain. Being thoughtful and intentional about what you put in your coffee, and knowing what might not be the healthiest choice, is the best way to keep excess sugar out of your diet.
What exactly happens to your body when you consume excess sugar? “Added sugar is a source of non-nutritive calories, contributing to weight gain and having no health benefit,” says Dr. Megan Mesher-Cox, in-house specialist at Dignity Health St. John Regional Medical Center, “ In small amounts, the body can tolerate added sugar, but many people are surprised to find that sugar is added to a large number of foods, including cereals, sauces, milks and breads. of this, excess sugar in the diet has been linked to a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, and even cancer.Due to the way most foods are prepared in In the United States, you can even get extra sugar from foods that aren’t typically “sweet,” which is why it’s important to read nutrition information carefully to determine how much sugar is in the foods you eat. at buy.
You may think artificial sweetener is a healthier alternative, but it may not have as many benefits as you think. “With over 70% of the US population with weights in the overweight or obese categories, I find that a majority of people want to lose weight. Artificial sweeteners have not been definitively linked to weight loss. In fact, artificial sweeteners are 300 to 600 times sweeter than regular sugar and cause a strong addictive response in the human brain (just like sugar),” says Dr. Cox, “If anyone wants to have artificial sweeteners artificial to lose weight , they will not help. What helps is to completely eliminate sugar or sugar substitute. That being said, artificial sweeteners can be helpful in certain settings, such as if you have diabetes and want to enjoy sweet treats once in a while without major consequences.
Excess sugar of any kind can have negative effects, but they are not all created equal. As for the worst sweetener to put in your coffee, Dr. Cox notes any sweetener combined with saturated fat. “This will cause a ‘double whammy’ of inflammation in the body and can lead to multiple health issues,” she says, “For example, inflammation of blood vessels occurs from ingesting saturated fats. and also sugar, and these together are exponentially more inflammatory.This contributes to heart disease, dementia, fatty liver disease and diabetes.
As for what you can eat instead, Dr. Cox has some recommendations. “Unsweetened plant-based milks, such as soy, oat, cashew, and almond, are good alternatives. Switching can be difficult, but after 2-3 weeks (up to 21 days), your taste buds change and this becomes your new norm. You can also try trading overtime gradually to adapt to the new taste. Although excess sugar comes with a higher risk of health problems, you can still make adjustments without having to completely give up the coffee drinks you love.