She asked me to talk about good vs. evil with respect to sweeteners. She likes to dilute her Starbuck's with "add-ons" and was wondering what the best option was for doing so.
So here goes:
- No added sugar/sweetener in a low-calorie coffee is the best option. If that's not an option for you, try skim or soy milk. If that's not an option, read on.
- Honey would actually be the next best option, but I don't think Starbuck's offers that. It may be the only form of sugar not currently available at Starbuck's. Seriously Barista's....how did you let this happen? People are paying $4 for something that costs less than a dollar. Offer them honey.
- If most of your diet is low in sugar, then just sweeten your coffee with sugar. A teaspoon of sugar is about 4 g or 16 calories...a small amount if you're adding it to a black coffee or non-fat latte. Even adding two teaspoons of sugar is not that bad. The general recommendation is to limit added sugars to less than 100 calories per day. So if you avoid sugar sodas, candy, baked goods, etc., then a small amount in your coffee is a-okay. The flavored syrups are sugar-based and are about 20-25 calories...so 1 pump is not a huge deal (unless you're adding to a Venti Mocha Frappuccino that already has over 350 calories...at that point, stop kidding yourself that it's a "coffee" and just go get a Ben & Jerry's).
- If you eat a lot of sugar, then artificial sweeteners are probably a good idea for you. That is assuming that you can tolerate them. Some people get headaches from Nutrasweet or gas/bloating from other artificial sweeteners. Some people find the sugar-free syrups to really cause gas. Everyone is different when it comes to these things so figure out what works best for you.
- Nutrasweet versus Sucralose? Again, I think personal preference based on your tolerance. There is nothing healthy about any 'artificial sweetener'...the word, "artificial", should be your first clue (duh). Arguing over which is better is silly. One or two sachets in your coffee are fine.