You have seen this three-ingredient craze all over the internet: dalgona coffee. As one of the biggest food trends of the COVID-19 pandemic, this frothy, whipped coffee beverage is made by vigorously mixing instant coffee, sugar, and hot water, followed by placing it on top of a cup of milk. However, award-winning Bariatric Medicine Physician Dr. Jan McBarron explains that this drink might not be all it is hyped up to be. With over 30 years of experience as a healthcare professional, Dr. Jan McBarron is here to showcase a different perspective on dalgona coffee.

What is Dalgona Coffee?

The dalgona coffee shares its name with Korea’s version of honeycomb candy, owing its general popularity to Korean Youtubers. As this drink has become viral globally, its origins and name are being disputed by multiple cultures laying claim to their own versions. However, as a specialist in medical bariatrics and nonsurgical weight loss, Dr. Jan McBarron cannot recommend this drink for a couple of reasons.

The Dangers of Too Much Refined Sugar 

Refined sugar increases your risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. As it is found hiding in a variety of foods and can be challenging to avoid, Dr. Jan McBarron explains that adding refined table sugar to your diet is not advisable. Consuming large amounts of refined sugar, especially in the form of sugary beverages, has been consistently linked to obesity and excess belly fat, a risk factor for diabetes and heart disease. Refined sugar also stimulates your appetite, insulin release, and the manufacturing of fat in the body. When your insulin is spiked, it will cause you to crave even more sugar.

Refined table sugar is considered empty calories because it contains virtually no vitamins, minerals, protein, fat, fiber, or any other beneficial compounds. Dr. Jan McBarron suggests consuming sugar in other forms, such as through fruit. With a high fiber content, fruit fiber can help you feel fuller for longer, can reduce food cravings, nourish healthy gut bacteria, and support healthy weight loss. You may want to consider consuming fruits with a low glycemic index, such as cherries, grapefruit, apricots, pears, apples, and oranges.

Overconsumption of Dairy 

In addition to the refined sugar, Dr. Jan McBarron also worries about the consumption of too much milk. While it is alright in small quantities, whole milk is high in fat, raises cholesterol and triglycerides (a type of fat lipid found in the blood), and contains growth hormones, steroids, and antibiotics. Consuming more than a cup of milk at a time can also cause issues for lactose intolerant individuals.

The Need for Social Distancing 

While the assumption is that people have instant coffee sitting in their cupboards, most often this is not the case. Dr. Jan McBarron explains that the most important aspect of social distancing is to ensure that you are only leaving your home when it is required. While she encourages individuals to experiment with new foods and recipes during this difficult period, she believes that there has never been a more crucial time to take care of your health and focus on the use of whole foods. Whether it is a yogurt parfait, a fruit smoothie with almond milk, or some dark chocolate, Dr. Jan McBarron suggests skipping the dalgona coffee and opting for a healthier alternative.