less sugar

From Fraps to Simply Black Coffee – Less Sugar Please

Let me tell you about a weekly routine I had when my kids weren’t in school yet.  We had a standing date to Barnes and Noble with a Starbucks conveniently next to it.  Before we ventured into the children’s section, we stopped at Starbucks where I’d order the usual Grande Mint Mocha Frappuccino. Now a weekly jaunt to Starbucks shouldn’t be a big deal right?  However, this was in addition to the “hidden sugars” in the typical meals I had at that time of my life.

The time before I became more aware of what I put in my body.
The time before I started to read ingredient and nutrition labels.
The time before I found out I was at risk for prediabetes.

I love coffee!  But I knew I had to figure out a way to cut the sugar.  Let’s look at the nutrition label for a Grande Mint Mocha Frap:

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Nutritional Info and Photo: starbucks.com
65g of SUGAR! Which is equivalent to about 16 teaspoons! Today, it makes my stomach churn but years ago I loved every sip of it, even slurping up the whipped stuff at the very bottom. This amount is almost three times more than the daily recommendation by the American Heart Association of 6 tsp for women (9 tsp for men). The most recent statistics show that on average about 17 tsp of sugar are consumed by Americans everyday.

A Mindset Shift

After the wake-up call of discovering my blood sugar levels significantly increased, I shifted my mindset. I asked myself, what would happen if I switched my order to a smaller size? How about from a frap to an iced latte? In fact, an iced latte reduced the sugar content down to 16g of sugar (4 tsp) – now we’re talking! I still had my coffee fix but without too much sugar. Eventually, my palate adjusted and I ventured to try a cup of simply black coffee.  Not bad at all!

The girls are older and in school now, so we no longer go to Barnes as often as we did before. And when we do, I don’t even stop at Starbucks. We now brew our own coffee in the convenience of our home and invested in an espresso machine. Saves us money and best of all, this one habit also helped restore my health.

This is just one example of the changes I made in lowering my risk for prediabetes. Sugar is a tremendous culprit that sneaks into our diet in a myriad of ways.



  1. I don’t watch sugar too much, but I have definitely cut back over the last year. My coffee splurge is a Dunkin Medium Iced Coffee with cream and one sugar, but I’ve cut the sugar completely. My home coffee never tastes as good as theirs.

    1. That’s good to hear! Yes I agree that in most instances, home brewed coffee tastes better. I do enjoy visiting local coffee places in SoCal and when we travel.

  2. I used to work for Starbucks. Before I worked there I also had the sugary, yummy, sweet drinks. It didn’t take long before I switched to black coffee! To be honest, those drinks (to me) are more about the sugar than the coffee (also, knowing just how much other stuff is in those drinks with only two tiny shots of espresso – it’s not really coffee if you know what I mean!). So luckily that’s no longer an issue for me. But there are still so many hidden sugars in our food! I just don’t get it. One big thing for me is avoiding the sugary treats at work. Every week there’s cake (for a birthday) or someone brings cookies, candy, chocolate in. And now with the holidays… oh man! So I signed up for the challenge!! LET’S DO THIS!

    1. Wow Renee thanks for sharing your insight as someone who used to work at Starbucks. I get what you’re saying with being surrounded by sugary treats. I think the Sugar Detox Challenge will help! Thanks for signing up! Look forward to it.

  3. I’m trying to avoid having too much added sugar in my regular day–it’s in so many things!

    1. That’s awesome Farrah – Sounds like you’re making a good effort in avoiding sugar as much as possible.

  4. I blatantly know I have a sugar addiction. I have to simply avoid the cookies and candy as much as possible…out of sight. out of mind. I’ve been doing the Invisalign orthodontic treatment for the past five months, and that’s really made me hyper aware of how much sugar I was eating/drinking before. Now, I have to drink plain water and no snacking (or I have to brush/floss my teeth every time something other than plain water is swallowed LOL). I think twice before I reach for anything!

    1. I remember the same when I went through an Invisalign treatment – made it somewhat easier to avoid unnecessary snacking. It definitely helps when we recognize which food can trigger overconsumption – for you it’s the cookies and candies. I agree with out of sight – out of mind!

  5. I’ve really been working on cutting simple sugars where I can. It’s so hard sometimes!

    1. I hear you – it is challenging. It’s good that it’s something you are working on.

  6. How awesome I’ve been sugar free for a year and have a support program as well. People dont realize the affect sugar has but I can say that now that I feel so much better without sugar.

    1. Congrats De! It’s wonderful you’re supporting others to do the same!

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