Friday, November 18, 2011

Vanilla Latte Health Benefits

Skinny lattes offer a less caloric version of a flavored latte. Made with sugar-free vanilla syrup, nonfat milk and espresso, these treats pack all the benefits of a latte without the guilt. The chemicals in fake vanilla syrups used in these lattes are not universally appealing however, and the drinks can get expensive. There are ways of transforming your skinny vanilla latte into an even healthier pick-me-up by making your own vanilla syrup with real vanilla beans.

If you’re a caffephile, you don’t need this Johns Hopkins study to tell you that a cup or two a day increases your sense of well-being and happiness. You can thank dopamine for that, which also contributes to coffee’s addictive nature. But be aware, the study also noted that more than 2 cups daily increases the risk of anxiety and panic attacks. Some people respond more readily than others – if you find yourself feeling jittery or nervous, ease up on the joe.


What is it: 1-2 shots of espresso with steamed milk.
Calories: Small, 200; large, 341.
Fat: Small, 10.6g (6.6 saturated); large, 17.9g (11.2 saturated).
Verdict: Surprisingly unhealthy. A large latte contains almost one third of the daily recommended fat intake for women. Add a vanilla shot and you 380 calories and 14.5g of fat in each large cup. This is equivalent to ten rashers of bacon.
How to make it healthier: Stick to skimmed milk and the calories in your large latte drop to 160, reduce saturated fat to zero and still provide a healthy dose (450mg) of calcium. Soya milk contains 50 calories more per large serving, but is still healthier than whole milk.

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