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The warmer weather brings with it the desire for fancy frosted drinks, cool iced lattes, and sweet iced teas. You may think of these refreshing drinks as a harmless way to help quench your desire for something icy – but did you know they can often contain as many calories and grams of fat as a full meal?
Read on to see how you can make healthy choices in the heat of the day so you avoid drinking your calories and save room for a healthy evening meal.
Keep It Simple
An iced caffè Americano contains only 20 calories and 0g of fat. An iced caffè latte is 160 calories and 8 grams fat (with whole milk – it’s even less with skim). But when you add extras, you add calories, fat, and sugar.
For example, grande sizes (16 oz) of the Strawberries & Crème, Double Chocolate Chip and White Chocolate Frappuccino Blended Coffees with whipped cream contain 570-610 calories and 15-19g fat. That’s more calories and fat than a healthy MEAL!
Order Your Drink Without Whipped Cream
This one change will save 110-150 calories and 9-14 grams of fat per grande Starbucks drink.
Go Sugar Free
Opting for the sugar free syrup or using calorie-free sweeteners allows you to enjoy a sweet, cold drink without adding extra calories or fat.
If you order a Frappuccino Blended Coffee, opt for the light version. This will save you at least 100 calories and 2g fat for a grande drink.
What About Tea?
Opting for an iced tea can be a great option, since tea offers multiple antioxidants that are beneficial for heart health and cancer prevention. However, there are many tea drinks on the menu that contain a lot more syrup and sweeteners than tea! Again, it’s best to keep it simple. Check out how Frappuccino Blended Crème tea drinks stack up against iced teas:
- A grande Tazo Chai Frappuccino Blended Crème (with whipped cream) contains 510 calories and 15g fat , and the Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino Blended Crème with melon syrup (and whipped cream) has 550 calories and 15g fat.
- Better Bet: A grande Tazo Chai Iced Tea Latte contains 270 calories and 7 g fat.
- Best Bet: Tazo Black or Green Iced Teas are only 80 calories, and even the Tazo Black Tea Lemonade contains only 120 calories with no fat.
The Bottom Line
Keeping your order for iced drinks as simple as possible is key when trying to decide what you want from the Starbucks menu on a hot afternoon. Avoid the Frappuccinos (or opt for the light versions if you can’t beat the craving), and avoid extras (such as whipped cream) and you will find that you can have a cool refreshing drink without all the extra calories and fat.
Elizabeth Daeninck is a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition. She has taught classes at the college level and facilitated weight loss group meetings, presented a variety of nutrition seminars and is a published author and researcher in the field of nutrition.