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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

We know it’s difficult to find something to get you through a hectic day. Most people rely on coffee. But, you should know how healthy the many variations of this wonder drink are. Jeet Dalvi & Jagruti Verma tell you more

Now that café culture is flourishing in India, consumption of coffee drinks has doubled. We all have that one special pick. However, is it really the healthiest option? Here, we look at the different versions of coffee drinks and get nutritionists to rate them on how healthy each popular caffeine drink is. We spoke with fitness expert Kunal Sharma, nutritionist Dr. Suman Agarwal, and Reebok-certified fitness consultant Dr. Sheela Tanna to give us their opinions on the health quotients of these delicious and enticing drinks. So, if you don’t know how many cups of your favourite coffee beverage you throw back a day, here’s what you need to know.


  •  Kunal 7/10
  •  Dr. Suman 8/10
  •  Sheela says “Espresso can help you lose weight. It energises your body, but is a low-calorie beverage as long you’re not adding sugar or cream to it. It’s a good choice for students and those who work in corporate jobs wanting to stay awake.”

Café macchiato

  •  Kunal 6/10
  •  Dr. Suman 6/10
  •  Dr. Sheela says “Café Macchiato is made with everything artificial. Ingredients such as milk, brewed espresso, vanilla syrup, caramel sauce, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, butter, heavy cream and many more can easily raise your insulin levels. I wouldn’t recommend this drink.”


  •  Kunal 5/10
  •  Dr. Suman 6/10
  •  Dr. Sheela says “Traditional cappuccino is a combination of espresso, milk and, in some cases, milk foam or whipped cream. The majority of the calories in a cup of cappuccino come from the milk added to the drink. Seasonings such as cinnamon and nutmeg are good for your heart and make cappuccino a healthy option, if consumed in moderation.”

Spiced latte

  •  Kunal 2/10
  •  Dr. Suman 7/10 (added spices can be beneficial)
  •  Dr. Sheela says “Spiced lattes contain a whopping 49g of sugar! The fat amounts to 13g, 8g of which are saturated fats. It’s better to keep this a rare treat and it is an absolute no-no for people with diabetes.”

Filter coffee

  •  Kunal 5/10
  •  Dr. Suman 7/10
  •  Dr. Sheela says “Filter coffee helps you stay focused and alert. Moderate caffeine intake — that is a few cups a day — improves your levels on concentrarion and boosts mental alertness. It’s best to have this type of coffee without sugar.”

Café Americano

  •  Kunal 7/10
  •  Dr. Suman 6/10
  •  Dr. Sheela says “Café Americano is another drink that helps you stay focused. The caffeine is moderately saturated, so you can drink up to 4 cups a day at most. However, avoid it if you have high blood pressure.”


  •  Kunal 1/10
  •  Dr. Suman 8/10 (for low caffeine, freeze-dried instant coffee variant, and low-fat, skimmed milk variant)
  •  Dr. Sheela says “Even drinking a medium-sized frappe is going to cost you dearly — 453g and 560 calories. That’s 24g of fat, a fat rate higher than the daily average of 15g. Also, be ready to welcome 70g sugar and 160mg sodium. If you simply must have a frappe, skip the whipped cream and chocolate drizzle and you’ll save 90 calories, 7g fat and 4g saturated fat, plus a little sugar and sodium.”

Flat white

  •  Kunal 4/10
  •  Dr. Suman 6/10
  •  Dr. Sheela says “The flat white consists of double shots of Espresso with two parts steamed milk. Swapping to trim milk will reduce the calorie count to 70 and almost no fat, although some fat may help to keep you feeling full.”

Café Cubano or a Cuban espresso

  •  Kunal 1/10
  •  Dr. Suman 4/10 (with Demerara sugar)
  •  Dr. Sheela says “This is another type of espresso — one that has its roots in Cuba. Coming in a small potent dose, this is twice as strong as an American coffee and is super sweet. A Cuban espresso doesn’t have much nutritional value because there is more carbohydrate than protein.”


  •  Kunal 2/10
  •  Dr. Suman 6/10
  •  Dr. Sheela says “This coffee style originated in Italy. Doppio means double. This type is good for the kidneys, lungs and heart. It helps to boost your energy, enhances memory and aids in fighting depression. It acts as an antioxidant and is helpful if you are weight conscious.”
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