The debate surrounding the healthfulness of a morning cup of coffee, a daily ritual that powers most of us through our days, is a well-known one. Some studies suggest kicking off the day with coffee actually helps prevent aging, but nutritionists note that it can contribute to anxiety and dehydration. Regardless of who you side with in the coffee debate, how you take it has the most impact on your health. In fact, Body and Soul just tapped accredited practicing dietitian Joel Feren to answer that very question: What is the healthiest way to drink coffee?
Taking your coffee black is the lowest-calorie option, but if you can't stomach your morning brew in its purest form, Feren spilled just how each addition stacks up. He notes how some argue that skim milk actually contains more sugar than full cream. In reality, he says, "The sugar content will probably only increase by one gram, it's nothing to worry about," especially considering the 50 to 60 extra calories you'll be avoiding with skim. While there's also skepticism surrounding the consumption of soy, Feren assures that it's not as scary as it sounds, but he does warn it's only "marginally better than full cream." "Options like a macchiato, long black, or piccolo latte will cut a considerable amount of calories from your normal intake," he says.
As for any flavors? Nix them to be mindful of your health and do your body a favor—they add a huge amount of excess sugar.
Find out what your body is trying to tell you when you're craving coffee.