This week I worked with a woman who wants to lose weight. She is also sleeping poorly and has bad asthma.
It turns out she drinks an Iced Mocha Latte from Dunkin Donuts every day! We hopped on the DD website and pulled up the nutrition info so she could understand why this is not such a good idea.
Ok, so the first thing I'm looking at on this nutrition label is 32 grams of sugar per 16oz serving.
4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon
32 grams of sugar = 8 teaspoons
8 teaspoons a day = 56 teaspoons a week!
This is not a good situation for someone who wants to lose weight! Please, if you care about your health or want to lose weight: no sugar drinks. And don't even get me started on the high fructose corn syrup.
There's also lots of milk in this latte. I don't trust the quality of milk from DD. I explained to her that conventional milk has lots of hormones and antibiotics. The other issue is that she has asthma. I explained that there's a connection between dairy and asthma. Dairy is inflammatory, mucus-producing and one of the most common food allergens. She was really excited to learn that her asthma may improve if she cuts down on the milk.
Now, if someone is having a cup of coffee in the morning and feels great and is sleeping great, I think that's fine. I'm not going to give them a hard time for it. I like a cup of coffee in the morning too.
However, if you are having trouble sleeping, you have to take a long hard look at your caffeine intake! Please don't be fooled and think that caffeine in the morning doesn't affect your sleep at night. Caffeine has a half life of 7 hours. This means it takes 7 hours to eliminate half of the caffeine from your body. After 14 hours, only 75% of the caffeine is gone. (This number can vary based on your weight and how fast your liver processes caffeine, but you get the idea - there are still some milligrams of caffeine running around your body by bedtime.)
If your're not sleeping well, it's worth experimenting with cutting down on caffeine. I've seen so many people experience better sleep when they do a cleanse and eliminate caffeine.
She also mentioned that her hands have been shaky, and it's affecting her work. Yes, that can be the caffeine too!
So what can she drink?
Well, let's see here are some ideas: Water, Sparkling Water, Seltzer Water, Coconut Water, Kombucha. Small coffee from DD with stevia. Make coffee at home with coconut milk and stevia. If you must get a fancy drink, try a Starbucks Iced Tea, unsweetened and add some stevia.
Note that our conversation did not focus on cutting calories or fat. The DD latte has 180 calories and no fat. It's irrelevant. All that sugar, caffeine, dairy and the high fructose corn syrup are causing a host of health issues.
I can't wait to see if we can help with weight loss, asthma, sleep, and shaky hands all by making this one simple change, I'll keep you posted!
P.S. Remember, 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon. Remember that when you're reading nutrition labels and you'll be way ahead of the game.