How healthy is your morning cuppa?

coffee pots If you’re like millions of Americans who regularly drink tea or coffee with sugar, honey, milk or half-and-half, you may not realize how many extra calories you’re consuming every day.

Citing nutritional recommendations from 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which calls for limiting calories from added sugars, saturated fats and sodium, researchers say these add-ins are empty calories, “dense in energy and fat but low in nutritional value.”

They reviewed 12 years’ worth of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, examining survey results of more than 13,000 adults who drank coffee and 6,000 adults who drank tea 24 hours before completing the survey. People who drank their coffee and tea black each day, consumed 69 and 43 fewer calories, respectively. Over time, those calorie savings add up: for black coffee drinkers that’s a savings of almost 500 calories a week.

Can’t imagine drinking your coffee or tea black? Try making small changes to cut calories such as:

Switching from cream, half-and-half or whole milk to low- or nonfat milk

Reducing or eliminating added sugar or switching from sugar to a no- or low-calorie sweetener