Be Sugar Smart at the Coffee Shop

Whether it’s meeting friends for a quick cup of coffee and a chat or grabbing your caffeine fix en-route to a busy day in the office, it is important to know the amount of free sugars lurking  in your local coffee shop. 

You don’t have to avoid the coffee shop, just remember to make Sugar Smart decisions when you reach the counter. 

The World Health Organisation recommends you should have no more than 10-14 teaspoons of sugar a day.

Be Sugar Smart

  • Choose smaller serving sizes – a standard size serving is approx. 200ml
  • Go for unflavoured coffees – the added flavourings such as vanilla or toffee shots are syrup based and therefore are high in free sugars and calories
  • Consider SHARING a scone with a friend as these can contain lots of added sugars and calories especially if served with jam and cream
  • Avoid adding sugar or cream to your hot drinks to reduce your calorie and free sugar intake
  • To help you and your family recognise free sugars and make smarter choices take a look at the image and resources provided.

Being Sugar Smart allows you to make better choices for your overall health. Understanding food labels is the ultimate tool to help you recognise how much free sugar you and your family are consuming. Download the Diabetes Ireland Guide to Understanding Food Labels now. Other useful resources include the Diabetes Ireland Shopping Guide and our healthy eating recipes section. Check out these resources and start to make the small simple steps to becoming Sugar Smart today. 


Small changes matter – making a few changes to the way you eat and drink can make a big difference to your health over time.


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Remember, high intakes of free sugars are associated with pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, dental decay, obesity and increase the risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) and cancers.


Updated October 2020