Lattes are coffee-based beverages consisting of espresso and steamed milk, with variations including milk foam as an added ingredient. In the United States, there are three basic types of lattes namely caffè latte, latte macchiato, and iced caffè latte. Caffè latte is a hot beverage where steamed milk is added to espresso and then topped with milk foam. Latte macchiato, on the other hand, is made by pouring hot espresso into foamed steamed milk. Iced caffè latte, meanwhile, is mixed espresso and milk that are typically chilled beforehand and then poured over some ice and served as is without milk foam.
Over the years, demand for non-coffee based energy-boosting drinks has increased. It is for this reason most coffee chains now serve lattes made with caffeinated teas such as the Indian masala chai and the Japanese matcha or powdered green tea. Lattes are no doubt a tasty treat. However, ready-made versions of this classic drink contain unwholesome ingredients that may pose ill effects to one’s health.
Read further and discover more about the negative effects of lattes and why the Superhuman Food Pyramid recommends you avoid this source of hydration to help in your quest to Become Superhuman.
Coffee and tea lattes both contain caffeine. Caffeine is perhaps the most widely consumed legal stimulant drug around the world. Just like any drug, caffeine has both benefits and risks. While the majority appear to tolerate caffeine, a segment of the population may be particularly prone to its effects. For instance, individuals who have difficulty sleeping as well as those with anxiety disorders may want to steer clear of the stimulant drug as it may worsen said conditions. Women who are trying to conceive are advised against caffeine intake as well since it may delay conception. Similarly, it is contraindicated in pregnant women as consumption may result in the baby being small for its gestational age or having a low birth weight.
Lattes may potentially contain a variety of harmful substances as well. Coffee beans, for one, have been found to have acrylamide. It was only discovered in 2002 to be present in food items subjected to temperatures beyond 248 degrees Fahrenheit ( 120 degrees Celsius). However, this chemical compound has been used for decades as a fluid thickener in wastewater treatment facilities and in industries processing ores and making paper and plastic products. While results on the ill effects of dietary acrylamide are inconsistent, the chemical compound has steadily shown its carcinogenicity in animal models, and neurotoxicity and male reproductive toxicity in occupational exposure studies.
Another toxin commonly found in coffee is ochratoxin A, a mycotoxin brought about by mold growth in the beans. Ochratoxin has manifold ill effects and has shown to be toxic to the genes, to the brain, and to a developing fetus. Exposure also compromises the immune system response as well as stimulates abnormal cellular growth which could lead to cancer.
Lattes contain milk as well, with commercial varieties most likely concocted using regular cow’s milk. Harvested from dairy cows grown in concentrated animal feeding operations, regular cow’s milk contains the synthetic growth hormone called insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) which has been linked to obesity, diabetes and cancer. Dairy cattle in feedlots are routinely given antibiotics to contain diseases, too. This practice has worried health experts that it might lead to proliferation of antibiotic-resistant pathogens, which we then consume. Meanwhile, choosing dairy milk substitutes such as soy milk or almond milk doesn’t make the lattes healthier as most soy beans in the US may potentially be genetically modified, while commercial almond milk contains fillers like soy and synthetic thickeners and sweeteners.
Lattes sold in most coffee chains are notoriously calorie-dense from the undue addition of sweeteners and flavoring syrups as well. In fact, most 8-ounce servings sold by coffee chains contain anywhere from 100 calories to 300 calories. As if this isn’t worrying enough, most flavoring syrups contain questionable synthetic sweeteners like carrageenan, toxic sweeteners like aspartame, acesulfame or sucralose, and carcinogenic food colorings and preservatives like potassium sorbate.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the negative effects of mochas and why you should avoid them to help in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of drinks to avoid as well as consume regularly and moderately on the Superhuman Food Pyramid:
- Non-Caffeinated Teas
- Coconut Milk
- Raw, Grass-Fed Cow or Goat’s Milk
- Sports Drinks
- Smoothies (With Natural Ingredients)
- Arabica Coffee Regular and Decaf
- Caffeinated Tea (includes Green Tea)
- Anti-Oxidant Drinks or Powders
- Rice Milk
- Almond Milk
- Red Wine
- Energy Drinks
- Flavored Waters
- Soy Milk
- Regular Cow’s Milk
- Instant Coffee
- Blended Coffee
- Mixed Drinks
- Hard Alcohol
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the negative effects of lattes, the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the negative effects of lattes.