Rethinking Your Winter Drinks | El Camino Hospital
There is nothing more satisfying than a warm drink on a cold day. But, not all warm drinks are created equally. Here, we’re breaking down the best and worst drinks to enjoy this winter.

Best: Healthier Hot Chocolate

Sometimes you just need a bit of chocolate. Or, when getting your morning cup of joe, you need something for the kids. But a standard order of hot chocolate is laden with copious amounts of sugar. Make the order healthier by asking for half (or even one-quarter) of the chocolate, and skip the whipped cream. Add a shot of espresso for an extra kick, and a pump of sugar free peppermint syrup for a bit of holiday cheer.

Worst: Blended Coffee Drinks

Sugary syrups, whole milk and whipped cream make the calories soar in these types of beverages. Even a seemingly innocent blended iced coffee can have almost 200 calories, and nutritionally speaking, it’s more like a milkshake. Fancy coffee drinks are a prime example of how liquid calories add up.

Best: Apple cider

The apple and its juice – packed with vitamins, calcium, potassium and magnesium – provides a big health punch. Order a steamed apple juice, and ask for ground cinnamon or a cinnamon stick to be added.

Worst: Pumpkin Spice Latte

We’ve all read the headlines about the chemicals that grace this cold-weather favorite. How can something that tastes so good be so bad for you? While we believe in the “everything in moderation” position of healthy nutrition, we can’t in good conscience recommend this one.

Best: Holiday Americano

Sometimes classic is best. To change it up, we recommend adding a splash of almond or soy milk and a pump of your favorite sugar free syrup.

Worst: Sugary coffee drinks

The menus of popular coffee chains are riddled with drinks loaded with chocolate, white chocolate, caramel and other sugary syrups. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and order something that isn’t necessarily the best nutritional choice. Our advice? Just say no.

 

This article first appeared in the December 2018 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.

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