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Best and Worst Health Choices at Starbucks
By Malia Frey
Do you know the lowest calorie Starbucks drinks to order when you need a coffee fix? If you are trying to lose weight, you probably should. Some Starbucks beverages (like the White Chocolate Mocha) contain over 600 calories. Why ruin your diet with a cup of java? Use this guide to make healthy choices at Starbucks and keep your diet on track.
Nutrition Facts for Popular Starbucks Drinks
One of the most common drinks at Starbucks (or any coffee house) is the Caffe Latte, an espresso drink with steamed milk and topped with a small layer of foam. If you order a skim version of the drink, the barista uses non-fat milk and the drink provides a healthy boost of protein, but very few calories. You can also order this drink iced, but there won't be any foam on top.
Starbucks latte calories vary, however, depending on the milk that you choose. If you order a 16-ounce grande latte with low-fat (or 2%) milk, you'll consume 190 calories and 7 grams of fat. The calories in a Starbucks latte skyrocket if you order whole milk. A grande latte with full fat milk contains 230 calories and 12 grams of fat. That same drink with almond milk contains about 100 calories and with coconut contains about 140 calories.
Healthiest Options on the Starbucks Menu
There are plenty of Starbucks drinks under 200 calories.
Each of these tall (12-ounce) coffee drinks is made with nonfat milk. If you order a larger size or if you don't tell the barista to use skim milk, then the calorie count will be higher.
How to Order the Lowest Calorie Starbucks Drinks
If you already have a coffee drink that you love, use these tips to lower the fat and calorie count of the drink.
And remember that you can check the calorie count of your customized Starbucks drink online or by using the Starbucks app on your smartphone. Other coffee shops, like Caribou Coffee, also have websites with nutritional information.
Starbucks Food Choices
The food items that you see when you're standing in line to order your healthy Starbucks coffee are tempting. But they can easily undo the benefits of your smart drink choice. Most of them are high-calorie, high-sugar treats like cookies, brownies and other baked goods. The Classic Coffee Cake, for example, provides almost 400 calories, 16 grams of fat and 31 grams of sugar. Luckily, Starbucks provides transparent nutrition information at most locations so you can see the calorie counts of most of them before you indulge.
So is there anything healthy to eat at Starbucks? If you need a bite of food with your drink, there are a few items that will keep your healthy eating plan on track.
The Protein Bistro Box is a solid choice if you're hungry. It provides 370 calories, 19 grams of fat, 37 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams of fiber and 13 grams of protein. And each of the Yogurt and Fruit Parfaits will also satisfy your hunger for under 300 calories.
If you crave a sweet treat, the Snowman Cake Pop only provides 180 calories and 19 grams of fat, but it is very small. There are also several Petites (mini cake pops) that will satisfy your sweet tooth for under 200 calories.
Unhealthiest Options on the Starbucks Menu
Some of the bottled beverages are not the healthiest Starbucks coffee choices. For example, the popular Starbucks Frappuccino is full of sugar. A single serving provides 290 calories, 4.5 grams of fat and a whopping 46 grams of sugar.
And as you might imagine, while the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate is delicious, the venti whole milk version provides 650 calories, 24 grams of fat and 84 grams of sugar.
You don't have to give up the trip your favorite coffee shop just because you're on a diet. If you love your morning java fix, keep it on the agenda. But learn to order the lowest calorie Starbucks drinks. The calories you eliminate by making just a few small changes could have a big impact when it's time to step on the scale.