myFM: Sugary coffee drinks

by Lianne Phillipson November 24, 2021

myFM: Sugary coffee drinks

It’s that time of year to order more hot drinks, and with the tempting and luring marketing around the red cups–even collaborating with Taylor Swift who has a new album, Red, and so of course a drink to go along with that, it’s hard not to get sucked in to the latest festive offering. But what if that drink has the same amount of sugar as a chocolate bar, or two scoops of ice cream? Is that what you’d have in the car on the way to work? 

Sugar depresses your immune system, it can make acne worse, cause a flare of IBS, send you on a rollercoaster of energy highs and lows, stress out your pancreas and lead to diabetes, help you put on weight that can lead to obesity and it’s alsorelated to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is the storage of extra fat in the liver.“Excess sugar in our diet is gradually turned into fat cells, which are stored in the liver, among other places. Over time, fat cells can replace liver cells, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.”says an article on

The article went on to compare the usual Timmy’s Double Double to a Caramilk bar: “A Cadbury's Caramilk bar has 240 calories and 26 grams of sugar, while a medium double-double has 200 calories and 21 grams of sugar”. You wouldn’t eat a chocolate bar for breakfast, would you? 

Thinking of an Iced Capp? Well don’t get sucked into the ‘light’ version if you’re looking to do better - Both the Iced Capp and the Iced Capp Light have 39 grams of sugar in their medium sizes — almost 10 teaspoons. If you’re hitting the golden arches drive thru, McCafe's Vanilla Chai Iced Frappe sounds like it could be better, right?! NO. Hard no. At 19 teaspoons — or 79 grams — of sugar, it’s about the same as two scoops of Praline and Cream Ice Cream. Again, would you eat that for breakfast? Please say no. 

Think that getting a ‘smoothie’ is a better option as you’re listening to this - hard pass here too; Mango Pineapple Real Fruit Smoothie has about 14 teaspoons, or 57 g, of sugar. It’s made with fruit juice concentrate and purees, so you’re missing the crucial fibre to slow this storm of sugar down. 

You may have heard me say that green tea is the way to go, and maybe have a matcha in your sights. Starbucks Grande Matcha Tea latte, six teaspoons — 27 grams — of sugar. There goes the benefit of all those antioxidants. 

I could go on, but you’re likely already wondering what to go for. Well, have a listen to EAT THIS with Lianne episode 53 with Dr B breaks down the benefits of coffee - and sneak peek, he’s going to sing the praises of one type of coffee. Then there’s episode 58, all about tea. 

I’ve got you covered, as long as you say no to the others. 

Listen to the segment

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