People around the world drink an average of 500 billion cups of coffee per year. In America, half of the population drinks coffee everyday from one of about 24,000 cafes and coffee shops spanning the country. But what is really hidden in our favorite coffee drinks?
There have been numerous studies done on the health effects of coffee. On the positive side, some studies suggest links between coffee and lower rates of suicide, Parkinson's Disease, Type 2 Diabetes and short term memory loss. On the negative side, some studies link coffee to an increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, decreased blood flow to the heart, calcium deficiency, and increased anxiety, stress and sleep problems.
Most of these studies, however, measure the potential health effects of pure coffee, but many coffee lovers have long ago swapped black coffee for creamier and more sweetened versions. Being that it's a diuretic, some people drink coffee as a way to lose weight -- not realizing that many of the creamy blended drinks and frothy mocha lattes we consume come packed with more calories than multiple fast food items -- as the list below shows.
While plain, black java might have several health benefits, many Americans lace their coffees with large amounts of sugar, flavored syrups, caramel, chocolate sauces, heavy cream and whipped toppings to the point that many coffee drinks -- which start out with only a few calories -- end up being loaded with hundreds of calories and double digit grams of fat.
Below is a list of five of the highest calorie coffee drinks from the five largest coffee shop chains in the U.S., and their fast food item equivalents in terms of calories. The information was sourced from FindTheBest.com, which compiled the data from the coffee shops themselves:
1. Krispy Kreme's Mocha Dream Chiller, 20oz: 1,050 calories, 41g total fat
EQUAL TO: 6.17 White Castle cheese burgers
2. Dunkin' Donuts Vanilla Bean Coolatta, 32oz: 860 calories, 12g of total fat
EQUAL TO: 3.44 McDonald's Hamburgers
3. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Caramel Ice Blended, 24oz: 790 calories, 13g of fat
EQUAL TO: 4.16 Taco Bell Chicken Soft Tacos
4. Starbucks White Chocolate Crème Frappuccino w/whip, 24oz: 760 calories, 13g of fat
EQUAL TO: 2.23 Burger King Fries (small)
5. Peet's Coffee & Tea Hot White mocha w/whip, 20oz: 547 calories, 25g total of fat
EQUAL TO: 1.95 Subway 6" Turkey Breast Sandwiches