Fresh, delicious and soft like a dessert, the coffee creams depopulated in bars this summer. They like it so much that many consume 3-4 a day, instead of the usual espresso, without wondering what ingredients they hide and how many Calories bring.
«They are prepared with powder mixtures ready to use, based on soluble coffee, rehydrated skimmed milk, sugar, natural thickeners (such as isinglass) and a good dose of grassi», Explains Dr. Massimo Spattini, specialist in food science in Parma.
«One shot of 60 ml provides 15 g of sugar in the form of glucose or fructose syrup, widely used by the food industry.
What about fats? Here comes the sore point. About 30% of the soft cream is composed of milk cream or vegetable fats derived from'Palm oil, and therefore saturated like those of animal origin, added to increase its creaminess and “palatability” ».
Calorie to confront
If we put the classic espresso and cream coffee on the scales, the first is certainly more dietetic: with a level teaspoon of sugar it brings only 20 calories against the 200 of the rival cream.
"For this reason, coffee creams should not be considered a substitute for the espresso ordered at the bar in the morning or after lunch, but seen as an ice cream or a dessert, to be consumed in moderation. For example as a snack, like greedy snack, or in the evening instead of the walking cone », Spattini warns.
«The maximum dose is two coffee creams a day, if you do not want to attack the line and take too much fat that raise cholesterol and triglycerides ».
The light alternative? The cremolata
to reduce calories without sacrificing pleasure? Choose a cremolata, a cross between a cream and a granita. «It also contains 15-20 g of sugars, but proportionally in smaller quantities because dissolved in the large percentage of water (70-80%) necessary for the formation of ice crystals », advises Dr. Spattini.
«Compared to the coffee cream the proportion of fat is much lower (about a quarter), even if the cremolate and even the industrial slushes do not renounce the unmistakable creaminess offered by the addition of palm oil ».
And don't forget the caffeine
Tasted as a refreshing break, we tend to forget that even the coffee cream contains a high percentage of caffeine: about 30-40 mg per cup, compared to the average of 50-60 mg of an espresso or a coffee prepared with mocha.
«Alkaloid with an exciting action on the central nervous system, caffeine is contraindicated for those suffering from hypertension, is nervous or struggling to fall asleep, especially if taken after 18 pm », Dr. Massimo Pattini warns.
«Like coffee, velvety brown cream can be useful for keeping awake if you face a long journey by car, but without exaggerating ».