Go beyond cream & sugar: Some healthier alternatives to add to your coffee

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MILWAUKEE -- Let's have a java jolt toast to this -- it's National Coffee Day! Even better, your morning brew is actually good for you if you don't add too much to it. Registered dietitian Tatiana Castellino joins Real Milwaukee to help keep your Cup of Joe's calorie count low.

Benefits of Coffee (in moderation 2-3 cups/day - 8 ounce cups)

• Coffee can be protective against Parkinson`s disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease
• Can improve brain function
• Can decrease risk of depression

Coffee becomes less healthy when consumed in excess and/or with the add-ins:
1. Creamers
a. Primarily sugar, hydrogenated (& partially hydrogenated) oils, salt, and preservatives
b. Spike blood sugar, high in trans fats and sodium
c. Sugar free varieties: artificial sweeteners & generally more thickeners for texture
d. Better for you options:

i. Choose shortest ingredient list when possible, such as:
1. Natural Bliss (nonfat milk, heavy cream, sugar, natural flavor)
2. Some varieties of Dairy Free Creamers (made from almond, coconut, soy, etc)

2. Milk or Half & Half
a. Full fat varieties - calories add up quickly
b. Are more natural than highly processed creamers
c. Use in moderation (1 Tbsp. ½ & ½ = 20 calories)
d. Better for you options:
i. Unsweetened Vanilla Almond or Soymilk

Other Tips:
• Choose flavored coffee for additional flavor without all the extra fat & calories
• At home Pumpkin Spice Latte:
o In microwave, heat up small amount of canned pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and low fat milk
o Mix into coffee
• Or sweeten with a small amount of natural options:
o Honey
o Maple syrup
o Spices- ground cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, cardamom, ginger
o Unsweetened cocoa
o Pure vanilla extract
o Peppermint oil extract
o Melted piece of dark chocolate