Health

Savouring coffee might help reduce calorie intake

People who want to reduce their daily calories without restrictive dieting should consider taking their coffee with little or no sugar - and savouring the beverage might help in that regard, researchers suggest.

"There are 48 calories in one tablespoon of sugar, and over the course of a day, some coffee drinkers may use their entire recommended daily allotment of added sugar (100 calories for women and 150 for men) just in their coffee," they wrote in the Journal of Health Psychology.

In a new study, Mr Richie Lenne and Professor Traci Mann of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis tested two interventions to help coffee drinkers reduce sugar consumption. They randomly assigned 127 participants to follow one of three approaches for two weeks.

In one group, people gradually decreased the amount of sugar they were adding to their coffee, by a little bit a day.

Another group had a lesson in how to drink coffee mindfully, by taking time to focus on the coffee and appreciate it with the senses; the lesson included a coffee tasting introduction, so participants could learn to detect the flavour, acidity, sweetness, mouth-feel and aftertaste of coffee.

The third group went cold turkey, giving up sweeteners in coffee without any strategy.

"Participants in all conditions had significant increases in consumption of sugar-free coffee that lasted six months, (but) the mindfulness group had a larger increase than the others," the authors found.

In fact, a month after the experiment, the mindfulness group drank coffee without sugar more often than those who simply tried to stop.On the other hand, the gradual reduction method was the least effective. - REUTERS

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