I love coffee. One cup every morning is all I need to stay mentally alert through most of my day. Last year, a good, good, girlfriend of mine gifted me a Nespresso machine. I went from traditional brewed coffee to espresso coffee drinks conveniently made in my own kitchen. I took on a new persona as a barista every morning as I perfectly paired my espresso with my frothed almond milk, a tad of Hershey’s cocoa and a spoonful of gourmet French vanilla syrup. Voila! A mocha latte! If everyone started making lattes so good at home, Starbucks was going to have some trouble. Keeping my coffee drinks as low in sugar as possible sounded like a great idea but it just tastes so good with all the sweet additives. The downside to my wonderful latte was the stomach bloating that followed not having any dairy, it had to be the sugar. Hooked as I was on my morning beverage ritual, I ignored my body trying to tell me something wasn’t quite right.
Coffee alone is a powerful antioxidant, that helps fight free radical damage in the body (think breast and liver cancer prevention). The caffeine in coffee helps improve mood, and increase metabolism. In fact, research has shown that coffee can help reduce insulin resistance, reducing risk for Diabetes Type II by 25%. Studies have also shown that coffee has cardiovascular benefits. Cardiovascular health and Neurological health are often linked so it’s no wonder that coffee helps to protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as well. Let’s be clear, these wonderful benefits from coffee only hold true with the consumption of black coffee. The reality is that sugar laden coffee beverages are often no better than drinking a can of soda, thus contributing to body inflammation, weight gain and the domino effect of health issues that come with it.
The problem is that despite negating the natural benefits of a fresh brewed cup, all those flavored syrups and dairy creamers just taste so dang good! That first sip of a caramel Macchiato from Starbucks can feel like heaven. International Delight coffee creamers come in the most delicious flavors not to mention those convenient little pods for a drink on the go. Unfortunately now we have undone so much potential good for our bodies, short and long-term. So how do we go from, delicious confection morning beverage to the distinctly strong (and sometimes bitter) flavor of natural coffee. Well, you may just have to retrain your taste buds. Reducing your sugar intake in general is a good idea, but lets take this one step at a time. Below are some suggestions on how to adjust to black coffee.
5 Ways to Adjust to Black Coffee:
- Add a teaspoon of pure extracts to enhance flavor like almond, or vanilla
- Try a packet of Stevia, an all natural sugar alternative
- Drink less. With your coffee no longer diluted by additives you can have a shot of espresso and be on your way. You will certainly feel the energy boost and one shot of espresso has 3 calories and 0 grams of sugar. No wonder the Italians are so slim!
- Put it on ice. It’s cold outside now, but drinking your black coffee cold is a refreshing treat in the warmer months.
- Find your perfect roast. Explore different roast flavors to find one that appeals to your taste buds in its natural state. Might be time to step it up from Folgers!
When you think of all the benefits you are gaining and the calories you are saving, black coffee might begin to sound as good as pumpkin spice latte. Let’s try a 30-day black coffee challenge and compare notes. What are you doing to adjust?