Drinking coffee has been linked to a decreased incidence of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases and may also reduce the risk of cirrhosis, colon cancer and gallstones, according to the American Dietetic Association. Tea contains antioxidants that help fight and may prevent heart disease and cancer. The beverages at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, an international chain of coffee shops, can be included in a healthy diet and may benefit health, but consume them in moderation and limit items that are high in calories, fat and added sugar.
Coffee and Espresso Drinks
The lowest calorie coffee and espresso drinks are regular drip coffee, espresso shots and Americanos; both hot and iced versions only contain 5 to 10 calories per serving and are fat free. Milk-based espresso drinks like lattes, cappuccinos and mochas are a good source of calcium, which supports strong bones and teeth, but can be high in calories, fat and added sugar. Choose nonfat milk to decrease calories and fat.
A 20 oz. whole milk latte has 330 calories and 11 g of saturated fat versus a 20 oz. nonfat latte, which has 200 calories and no fat. Powdered flavors are used in some of the drinks at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which add fat and calories. No sugar added (NSA) powders are also available; these contain far fewer calories. A 16 oz caramel latte has 420 calories and 4 g saturated fat. The NSA version of the same drink has only 330 calories and 1.5 g saturated fat.
Ice Blended Drinks
Apply the same principles for coffee and espresso drinks to ice blended drinks. Choose NSA drinks when possible because consuming excess calories and saturated fat can lead to obesity, heart disease and other chronic conditions over time.
Hot and iced teas are fat free and contain only 5 calories. Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf also offers tea lattes and blended tea drinks that are available in NSA versions to reduce calories and fat. Be aware that the size of a drink affects its nutritional composition. A 12 oz. ice blended green tea has 310 calories and 6 g saturated fat, while the 24 oz. version contains 600 calories and 11 g saturated fat. According to the United States recommended daily allowances (RDA), that’s 30 percent of the recommended calories and 50 percent of the recommended saturated fat you should be consuming in an entire day, all in a single beverage.
Drinks at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf can be modified, but not all of the extras are nutritionally beneficial. A caramel or fudge swirl adds 65 calories to a drink, while extra chocolate or vanilla powder increases calories by 165 and saturated fat by 3 to 4 grams.
Beverages at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are filling but do not provide all the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy diet. Consume beverages in moderation as part of a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats. An occasional beverage that is high in calories and fat is okay, but balance it with lower calorie foods throughout the day and physical activity. Many beverages at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf are caffeinated, and while moderate caffeine intake is fine, too much can lead to insomnia, nervousness, irritability, nausea, digestive problems, muscle tremors, headaches and anxiety, according to the Mayo Clinic. If caffeine induces negative side effect consult a physician and consider switching to decaffeinated beverages.