Frozen coffee drinks can be 'sugar bombs'

For a lot of coffee drinkers, frozen is the way to go.  But, be careful!  You may be sipping on a sugar bomb!

ShareCare physician Dr. Darria Long Gillespie says the average frozen coffee drink packs way more sugar than the average soda.

“It' has twice the amount of a can of Coke actually,” Long Gillespie says.

So how much sugar is in actually in your favorite frozen coffee?

We checked the online nutritional information for 3 popular small-sized frozen or blended coffee drinks.

At Starbucks, a tall Mocha Frappuccino Blended Coffee has 42-grams of sugars, or about 10 teaspoons of sugars.

At McDonalds, a small McCafe’ Iced Caramel Mocha has a little less, at 32 grams of sugar, or 8 teaspoons.

But the Dunkin’ Donuts small Frozen Caramel Coffee Coolatta takes the cake with a whopping 71 grams, or about 18 tablespoons of sugar.

So, why could that be a problem?

“Well, for one it's just a very high calorie load,” says Dr. Gillespie Long. “That’s 15 calories for every teaspoon.  So if you now have 20 teaspoons of sugar, that's a very high calorie load.”

She says if you switched from a store-bought frozen blended coffee drink to a plain ice coffee with cream and sweetener just twice a week for a year, it could save you 16 pounds of weight gain.

But, if you can't shake your favorite coffee fix? Make it yourself.

“Because most of us, unless you're 8 years old, aren't going to take 20 teaspoons of sugar and put it into your coffee,” says Gillespie Long.  “You're going to take a much smaller amount and still be pretty happy with the way it tastes.”

So, buy a cup of black coffee on ice, and add creamer.

“Use the real stuff, use whole milk, a dash of cream,” she says. “It's going to more satisfying and healthier to you than an artificial creamer or low-fat creamer.”

Instead of sugar, Gillespie Long says try a sweetener like Stevia or Splenda.

“But try to use a half a pack,” she says.  “So you get a little bit of sweet, plus some cream and you'll have something that is a lot less calories, a lot lower sugar and still delicious.”

So, get your fix -- but fix it yourself, and you won't have to worry about what's really in your drink.