Starbucks Coffee the Healthy Way


Have you realized how many calories you may be getting from your gourmet coffee drink in the morning? My clients are always shocked when I tell them how many calories, sugar and fat are packed into their yummy drink.

Starbucks has become an important part of our lives – relaxing breaks during the day, meeting spots and even workplaces. I personally made a visit to Starbucks and talked with their very personable staff about exactly what are the nutritionals in the many popular ingredients that you find in chai lattes, frappuccinos and coffee lattes.

Read below and find out ways to alter your favorite high calorie and high fat latte to make it a healthier option.

Go for a lower fat milk and calorie version

I was surprised to find out that all the frappuccinos are made with whole milk. Also, I was amazed that all the chai lattes are made with 2% milk. It’s great that they now have available fat-free milk and 1% milk upon request. Another shockaroo was that they only offer 30% fat vanilla soy milk for those lactose intolerant, vegan, vegetarian and soy lovers. I calculated the 30% fat by doing the following math. A serving of one cup of the vanilla soy milk is 130 calories and the calorie from fat is 35; so therefore we get to the 30%. Also realize that the vanilla soy milk has 13 grams of sugar or 3 teaspoons of sugar. ( 1 teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams). So please do not fret all you have to do is order your drink with fat free or 1% milk and you will save yourself 100 calories and lots of fat for a 16 ounce drink.

Avoid Whipped Cream

Although this may seem obvious, many of us think of having a specialty coffee for a special occasion, or we are just in the habit of having it, so we add whipped cream. We do not realize that you are adding 100-150 calories for a 16 ounce drink.

Ask for less pumps of syrup and try the sugar-free syrup

I find that my clients are realizing that many of the coffees with flavored syrup are too sweet. They did not think of asking for only 1 pump of syrupinstead of the 4 hits that are in a Vente for instance. I learned that there are 2 pumps in a tall, 3 pumps in the grande and 4 pumps in the vente. Another zinger that got me was that the chai syrup is 160 calories or 40 grams of sugar for 3 pumps. Check out Starbucks sugar free syrup made with splenda. You will save 100 calories for a 16 ounce drink. Also, do take advantage of the cinnamon, chocolate powder and vanilla bean powder that is always available on the counter. This is a great way to add sweetness with almost no calories.

Consider a smaller portion size

If you usually order a large drink, consider cutting it down to a medium or even a small. I tell clients that if you are needing a caffeine or sugar fix, you will still get the jolt and same enjoyment from a smaller size.

Have more coffee and less milk

A simple modification is to have a café au lait which has half coffee and half steamed milk which means less calories. Fresh brewed coffee has no calories. So you are adding more coffee to decrease the total calories.

Now you can still enjoy your yummy Starbucks drink with just a few modifications. Looking up your favorite drink may be an eye opener. When you are at Starbucks remember to ask your server about all the great healthy choices now available. Consider your coffee a drink and not a meal!

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