Best Starbucks Beverages
You can’t go wrong with plain, unsweetened coffee or tea. Iced or hot, these sips provide antioxidants along with the caffeine boost. Though many associate tea with health benefits, coffee has been linked to several of its own: Drinking coffee is associated with a lower risk of certain cancers, and may protect against Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes. Plus, the caffeine in both beverages helps you stay focused and alert.
Where these beverages go wrong is in the add-ins. More on this in a moment, but to keep your sips on the healthy side, have them plain or with 2% or nonfat milk, coconut milk or almond milk. Skip the sweetener if you can, or use a light touch. Here are a few options that are in line with this advice:
And Then a Few Things to Steer Clear Of
Certainly, the bakery case is a landmine of sugary, belt-busing fare. It’s not just that these goodies have loads of calories and sugar; they’re also made primarily of refined grains (read: white flour), which means they’re an energy slump waiting to happen.
- Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake. It might taste good going down, but the 41 grams of sugar it contains (that’s 10 teaspoons!) in lieu of a few grams of fat make this a poor choice. It has “cake” in the name for a reason.
- Lemon Chiffon Yogurt. This is a case of yogurt gone horribly wrong. The same amount of plain, whole milk Greek yogurt has about 200 calories and 8 grams of sugar. Thanks to the lemony mixture, you’ll get an extra 140 calories and 27 grams of sugar, which amounts to almost 7 teaspoons of added sugar. Truthfully, none of the yogurt parfaits are terrific in my book. You can usually find Siggi’s Vanilla Yogurt at Starbucks so if you’re in the mood for yogurt, it’s an option that will spare you a sugar crash.
- Horchata Almondmilk Crème Frappuccino. If the above example is a case of yogurt gone wrong, this drink takes almond milk to the next level of wrongness. Plain, unsweetened almond milk has just 30 calories a cup. The typical 16-ounce grande serving of this drink has 330 calories. It also has more than 12 teaspoons of sugar — twice the daily limit for women, and three teaspoons more than the daily cap for men. Skipping the whip brings the sugar down a tad, but not enough. Don’t be fooled. Frappuccino drinks are more like milkshakes than coffee — fine if you’re treating yourself to dessert, but probably not okay if it’s a daily pick-me-up.
WHAT A NUTRITIONIST WANTS YOU TO KNOW
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