How Much Sugar Is In That Coffee Drink? Oy Veh!

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My daughter Jessi was complaining that there is too much sugar in many coffee drinks and other beverages sold at various restaurants. That started us on a search of how much sugar is actually in commonly ordered beverages. Keep in mind the American Heart Association recommends that women ingest no more than 25 grams of sugar per day and men ingest less than 37.5 grams per day.

When I looked at how much sugar was in some of these drinks, I cringed. When I was a teenager, I used to love drinking Coke. However, in my adult life, I can state that I have not had a soda in a very long time—it must be over 20 years. In order to compare the coffee and other drinks, let’s look at how much sugar is in Coke. A 12 ounce bottle of Coke has 39 grams of sugar, which already exceeds the American Heart Association guidelines.

I must be one of the few adult Americans who does not drink coffee at Starbucks.   I don’t understand the Starbucks lingo—a tall is small? Grande is medium? A Starbucks Grande Java Chip Frappuccino contains a whopping 66 grams of sugar—nearly the same amount of sugar as two bottles of Coke. Even the Grande Hazelnut Macchiato contains a whopping 31 grams of sugar. Tim Horton’s medium iced cap coffee (flavored with milk) contains 46 grams of sugar. Pot Belly’s 16 ounce mocha shake contains 93 grams of sugar. Wendy’s large chocolate Frosty contains 139 grams of sugar. (Full disclosure: I used to love Wendy’s Frosty drinks when I was a teenager.) That is the equivalent amount of sugar in three and a half bottles of Coke.

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