Do you have to make a choice between your favourite cup of chai and your diet? That would be a devastating blow. But don’t fear: you can have a fair degree of control over the number of calories in your chai.
The chai blend you use is just one component of your latte - how you flavour it with milk and sweetener is the real kick that will up your calorie intake.
HOW MANY CALORIES DOES A CHAI HAVE?
On its own - just a combination of black tea and herbs - chai has virtually no calories. A single serving of our Prana Chai Original Blend, for example, holds only about 25 calories, with a dash of honey.
It’s only when you add additional sweeteners and milk into the mix that the calorie count increase substantially.
Grab a "chai latte" from your local cafe and the chances are, your hot bevvie is loaded with calories. Order an average 12-ounce cup with whole milk and you’re looking at about 200 calories.
Swap to soy milk and it’s more likely to be 180 calories, while a non-fat milk "chai latte" will still contain about 160 calories.
So there's the trick: if it's referred to as a "chai latte" there's a good chance its made with higher calorie instant chai powder. You can ask:
"Is it made with whole spices and tea, or is it made with chai powder?" and if it's the latter...tell them about our lower calorie, healthier, delicious chai blends!
On the other hand, if you’re whipping up a chai at home, you’re going to have a lot more control over your caloric intake. Make it half-half with skim milk and water, avoid added sweeteners and you’ll have a decent, low-calorie drink.
IS CHAI HEALTHY FOR WEIGHT LOSS?
A high calorie count isn’t the only thing to think about when it comes to chai. There are several other ingredients in your chai that may help prevent weight gain and promote weight loss - if you avoid adding excessive sweeteners to the mix!
The milk you use can be a good source of protein, which may reduce hunger and help you feel full. For that reason, chai is often a good snack to have when you’re feeling peckish.
Ingredients in a chai may also help reduce blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, although further studies are needed.
Want to know more about what goes into your chai? Learn about other ingredients and health impacts at Prana Chai today.