Beware of Christmas coffee shop treats! How a festive latte and mince pie can make up a THIRD of a woman’s recommended daily calories

  • Just a hot drink and a mince pie can often contain more than 600 calories
  • Mince pies typically contain rich pastry and butter, full of saturated fat 
  • Festive hot drinks are often extra sugary and topped with whipped cream
  • Read: Britain’s unhealthiest supermarket mince pies revealed 

Beware of Christmas coffee shop treats.

For a festive latte and mince pie can make up a third of a woman’s recommended daily calories.

Mince pies typically contain rich pastry and butter, full of saturated fat, and suet and sugar in the mincemeat filling.

Festive hot drinks are often extra sugary and topped with whipped cream.

Beware of Christmas coffee shop treats. For a festive latte and mince pie can make up a third of a woman’s recommended daily calories. Mince pies typically contain rich pastry and butter, full of saturated fat, and suet and sugar in the mincemeat filling

Researchers at Loughborough University found just a hot drink and a mince pie can often contain more than 600 calories.

The snacks, often enjoyed in the days leading up to Christmas, or during a break in Christmas shopping, can make up more than a third of women’s daily recommended calories, and more than a quarter of men’s.

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Experts say festive treats create a real risk of piling on the pounds even before Christmas arrives, criticising the ‘aggressive advertising’ of the products.

The snapshot research, looking at high street coffee shops, found a classic mince pie and regular cinnamon swirl latte with whipped cream and semi-skimmed milk, from Caffè Nero, adds up to 686 calories – 34 per cent of a woman’s recommended daily total, and 27 per cent of a man’s.

A gingerbread latte and mince pie from Pret A Manger adds up to 640 calories – which is 32 per cent of a woman’s recommended total, and almost 26 per cent of a man’s.

The total for an all butter mince tart and medium gingerbread and cream latte, with semi-skimmed milk, from Costa Coffee, is 609 calories.

Amanda Daley, professor of behavioural medicine at Loughborough University, said: ‘People often gain weight over the Christmas holidays, as we often like to treat ourselves to a coffee and sweet treat, and cafe culture is a particularly important part of everyday life at this time of the year.

‘It is important that coffee shops do their part in helping the public reduce their calorie intake at Christmas, and one way to do this would be to target their festive treats.’

Henrietta Graham, who compared the calorie content of the coffee shop offerings, also from Loughborough University, said: ‘I still like to enjoy coffee and cake with friends around the festive period, but this information has definitely allowed me to make healthier choices when I do decide to treat myself.’

The researchers found a regular salted caramel latte from Greggs, along with a sweet mince pie, comes to 506 calories.

A regular caramel waffle latte from McDonald’s, paired with a ‘festive pie’ filled with mincemeat and custard, comes to 486 calories.

Katharine Jenner, director of the Obesity Health Alliance, said: ‘Across the country and in the most deprived areas, aggressive advertising and promotions for sugary, calorific ‘festive’ food and drinks puts unhealthy options centre-stage in our minds.

‘Whilst local leaders are eager to make their communities healthier, these multinational companies are operating with big advertising budgets.’

Dr Kawther Hashem, campaign lead for Action on Sugar, said: ‘Yet again we see more and more evidence of festive snacks and drinks ladened with excessive sugar and calories, which is not good for our health, especially if they are consumed frequently in the lead-up to Christmas.’

Tam Fry, from the National Obesity Forum, said: ‘The coffee companies who load their ‘festive’ promotions with so many calories are simply irresponsible.

‘An ultra-high sugar content is usually the cause of the high calorie count and brand managers seem not to care that these two together put their customers at risk of ill health.’

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WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE?

Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain, according to the NHS

• Eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count

• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally wholegrain

• 30 grams of fibre a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, 2 whole-wheat cereal biscuits, 2 thick slices of wholemeal bread and large baked potato with the skin on

• Have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soya drinks) choosing lower fat and lower sugar options

• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including 2 portions of fish every week, one of which should be oily)

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consuming in small amounts

• Drink 6-8 cups/glasses of water a day

• Adults should have less than 6g of salt and 20g of saturated fat for women or 30g for men a day

Source: NHS Eatwell Guide 

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