Sugar or sugar free?
Even the most casual acquaintance is typically aware that I am a hardcore coffee drinker. I have cut back from a pot or more a day to say 10 cups and one is typically a latte. The local coffeehouse baristas and owner know us by name.
And in the decision making matrix in life, some things are not as simple as they seem. Sugar was, for me, among those I often still has me feeling my way along day by day.
I eat a predominately whole food diet. The packaged food we buy most tends to be pickles, pasta sauce, cheese and nut butters. My husband and I, by and large, don’t stock a lot of pre-made food in our home. We want to be the ones to make the food and know what is going in and we’re funny about wanting to be able to pronounce the ingredients.
So when artificial sweeteners come up, they are a blend of hot topic and not fully understood for me. I don’t want to waste 80 calories on a few pumps of syrup in my coffee, but do I want Splenda in my system? I have learned that aspartame is a headache maker for me, so I avoid it. Can I get a more intense flavor by using a tablespoon of maple syrup and only 52 calories? What about a flavor via spice and some cashew milk? The number of choices and options in only my daily coffee are staggering. Basic math had to factor in.
If I’m putting 80 calories in each of my 10 cups of coffee, guess what…I’m at 800 calories. Um, no thanks! I’ll find all sorts of ways to spend those calories in a way I’ll enjoy far more and get more value from than my coffee.
So my daily latte has morphed into sugar free, meaning without sugar, for the most part. I do get raw sugar in it from time to time…but less and less often. My cups of coffee have a lot of heated unsweetened cashew milk (25 calories in a cup!) and often some Wildtree flavoring. The pumpkin cheesecake mix is delish and five calories!
And then there is simply the sugar of life. My husband and I are label readers and we used to only look for certain things, like HFCS. Now we look at so much more. And the sugars in an item are at the top of the list. Yogurt can have more sugar than ice cream! We buy Siggis brand which has more protein than sugar and the ‘sugar’ is typically lactose, which is the natural sugar within milk.
I’m still working through the jungle of information, misinformation and lack of transparent information regarding sugar that is out in the world. The one thing I am not doing is simply blindly going through life and thinking a 370-calorie latte is a reasonable way to spend my calories.
Where do you fall in the sugar/sugar-free discussion? I would love to hear your experiences!
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