What to Eat: What to Drink at Starbucks

Six out of ten Americans drink coffee every day. And many pick up their cup of joe (or their Caramel Mocha Cookie Chip Whip Latte) at a Starbucks. What’s in that cup? Maybe more than you think. Here are some of your best bets for a beverage on the go.


A milkshake for grownups. That’s one way to think of a Starbucks Eggnog Latte, White Chocolate Mocha, or Java Chip Frappuccino, each of which packs about 600 calories into a venti (20 to 24 oz.). And a good chunk of those calories comes from added sugar—about 19 teaspoons’ worth in the Java Chip, for example.

If you want a drink that won’t show up on your Starbackside, read on.

Cappuccinos, Lattes, etc. Like your coffee, espresso, tea, etc., unsweetened? Go for it.

If you’re a milk fan, stick with nonfat for your Caffè Latte (espresso, steamed milk, and foam), Cappuccino (a latte with less milk and more foam), or Caffè Misto (half coffee, half steamed milk, with a bit of foam). (If the Misto isn’t on the menu board, ask for it.)

You’ll walk away with just 70 to 130 calories (in a 16 oz. grande), but they come from milk, so they’re nutrient-rich. A grande nonfat latte, for example, is a good source of protein (13 grams), calcium (45 percent of a day’s worth), vitamin B-12 (30 percent), potassium (12 percent), and zinc (10 percent).

Frappuccinos. Whole milk and whipped cream give most grande Frappuccinos around 10 grams—half a day’s worth—of saturated fat. And their added sugar (10 to 14 teaspoons) helps boost the calories to around 400. Ouch.

Light Frappuccinos replace the whole milk with nonfat, ax the whipped cream, and cut back on the sugar by using the safe sweetener stevia. To keep a grande’s added sugar down around 4 teaspoons and its calories at 110, get a Coffee Light Frappuccino. The syrups and/or chocolate chips in a Caramel, Java Chip, or Mocha Light Frappuccino add another 1 to 4 tea¬spoons of sugar.

Smoothies. The best—the Orange Mango—is mostly orange juice, mango purée, a banana, milk, and whey protein. With 270 calories, 16 grams of protein, and no added sugar, it puts Smoothie King to shame. Even so, you’re better off eating, rather than drinking, your calories.


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3 Replies to “What to Eat: What to Drink at Starbucks”

  1. I have recently learned that Starbucks uses all sorts of unhealthy/unsavory additions to its drinks that have resulted in my commitment to avoid buying Starbucks’ coffee at all! Check out FoodBabe – re: No pumpkin in Starbucks’ pumpkin latte, added coloring to its coffee (why add color to coffee!?? :-(. I suggest you further research this company’s products before suggesting “healthy” choices – I doubt if there’s anything this company produces that you would want to support.

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