Flavored Syrups in Your Daily Coffee? Think Again

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Okay, I will admit… I love sitting at coffee shops. I find myself at least 3 times a week working/reading/ or studying at some of my favorite local spots. Yesterday, I was at one of my favorite coffee shops and decided to switch up my order.

I used to be a big coffee drinker (cappuccinos were my go-to.. YUM!) Over the years, I have started to incorporate some green tea into the mix. Since I am on a 21-day cleanse right now, , I have been not been drinking any coffee, instead I have been drinking a TON of water and tea. Yesterday, I was getting a little bored of drinking tea all the time so I decided to try something new. I ordered an almond milk Chai Tea Latte. (In a previous post, I wrote about what type of milk to put in your coffee. Click here to find out more.)

I took one sip and noticed that it was pretty sweet. So I asked the barista, how do you make your chai latte? She said that they brew  a bunch of chai tea, they poor the chai tea into the cup with the steamed almond milk and then they add a couple pumps of their chai spice. My next question was, what type of sweetener is in the chai spice? She looked at the bottle and said, it doesn’t say but it does say High Fructose Corn Syrup on the label. YIKES! No thank you.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is something that I tell all of my clients to avoid. Even “when used in moderation, [High Fructose Corn Syrup] is a major cause of heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay, and more.” -Dr Hyman

HFCS is derived from genetically modified corn. It is a cheap sweetener (even cheaper than sugar) because of the government corn subsidies. HFCS is highly processed. The human body is not designed to digest HFCS, it goes directly into the blood stream, causing major sugar spikes followed by drops in sugar.

You can find HFCS in most processed food products and beverages.

Needless to say, I am not concerned by the one sip of the Chai Late that I consumed yesterday. The point is that if you are consuming flavored syrup in your coffee each day, even if they are sugar free, it is important to ask what sweeteners are in the syrup. Chances are that if they are not using HFCS, they are using a cheap poor quality sweetener.

A better option would be to ask for unsweetened almond milk latte or an unsweetened Chai Tea Latte (in my case). Then you can add your own packet of Stevia, or add a small dab of honey to your daily warm beverage.  I think that tea might just be the safest option for me while on the cleanse!

So, next time you order your coffee or latte, skip the vanilla or carmel flavoring!

To find out more about the biological affects that HFCS can have, please refer to the link below:

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What Kind Of Milk Do You Put In Your Daily Coffee?

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Many coffee shops have started carrying alternatives to Cow’s milk. Until recently, Soy Milk was the the only alternative to milk that was offered. Now, you might find options like Almond Milk or Coconut Milk. (How exciting!) You might be curious as to why you would switch over to a milk-alternative if you are not lactose intolerant. Well, I am here to give you 2 nutritional reasons why you might consider making the switch.

1. Most coffee shops do not carry Organic Milk. You may know my recommendations already, however, if you haven’t heard me say this before… “If there is one thing that you should choose to buy Organic, it should be animal products.” Unfortunately, in this country, most of the cows are treated with antibiotics and hormones. That means that consuming non-organic dairy on a daily basis exposes you to high levels of hormones which in turn disrupts your natural hormone levels. By the way, you do not have to be a female to experience changes in your hormones! Shifts in our food system are playing a big role in the increased infertility levels, estrogen dominance in both males and females, and fluctuations in testosterone levels.

2. Dairy is one of the top 7 food sensitivities. That means that dairy can still be negatively affecting your health even if you are no “allergic” to it. If you are “sensitive” to dairy, you may experience symptoms such as gas, bloating, mucus (flem, snot, congestion), itchy throat, eczema or other skin conditions.

Now you might ask, what dairy-alternatives do I recommend?

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I suggest choosing unsweetened Almond Milk and unsweetened Coconut Milk. (Hemp Milk and Rice Milk and Cashew Milk are also good options but they are not offered at coffee shops..yet) If you are getting them at a coffee shop, they may only have the sweetened version. In that case, you may want to consider adding less sweetener or no sweetener at all.

I also recommend steering clear of Soy Milk. Soy is one of the most commonly genetically-modified crops, so it is best to choose organic soy or soy that is marked “non-GMO” when you can. Most coffee shops do not offer organic or non-GMO soy milk. Similar to Cow’s milk, Soy can enhance estrogen levels in the body. Soy is also on the top 7 Most Common Food Sensitivities list.

When you first switch over to a dairy-alternative, it is clearly not going to taste exactly the same as the milk that you have been drinking for years. However, if you give it a chance for at least 1 week, you will begin to adjust to the new flavor. I can speak from personal experience, it does not taste “bad,” it just tastes “different” at first.