Mitzi Dulan – America's Nutrition Expert
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Starbucks: The Good, The Bad, The BOMBS!
by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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Admit it, most of us love something at Starbucks, whether it’s the lemon pound cake, the Frappucinos, or yummy iced teas…but, what about the calories? And, since Starbucks now uses eco friendly cups, and has gone trans fat and high fructose corn syrup free shouldn’t there also be healthy options to choose from? Well here are some that won’t kill your diet, and some that would be the atomic BOMB of your waistline. First though, let’s explore some fun facts about Starbucks I bet you didn’t know:

  • There is a drink size which is 8 oz. called a short ( may not be available for items such as Frappucinos©) it’s not on the menu so you have to ask.
  • Any drink which includes milk can be ordered with 1%, or skim. The “regular” is made with 2% milk.
  • Avoid the whipped cream to make some of those “bad” drinks healthier.

So, you ask what are the best choices for my waistline at Starbucks? Well I have listed a few that are favorites of many people, when it comes to drinks we need to remember that something 300 calories is NOT waistline friendly because they aren’t meant to be meals.

  • Obviously, coffee would be the best choice, at 5 calories
    (without adding sugar or cream) for any coffee size if you need a little jump and want that Starbucks flavor , plus you can get flavors at the cream/sugar bar such as nutmeg, or chocolate powder which may add few calories.
  • A nonfat caffee latte comes in at 100 calories.
  • The classic tall Nonfat Cappucino is only  60 calories.
  • The shaken iced teas do not normally include sugar, and in that version they are 0 calories, you can choose from passion tea, black, or green tea. If you want the lemonade it will cost you 100 calories.

At the Starbucks website, you can take a look at all the low calorie options, the ones included above or probably the most popular, you can also tweak the drinks according to size, type of milk, whipped cream etc. They also have started to offer snack plates which include cheese and fruits.

Now, for the BOMBS!

Now, here is a list of what would be considered a BOMB of calories… enough to equal a meal for some. I only included this section for general educational purposes and are NOT the recommended choices. It should be noted that any drink in the Venti  and Iced Venti (24oz) size with 2% milk and whipped cream  would have a calorie range in the 500-700, therefore, the tall size will be listed here to compare to those healthier drinks listed above.

  • The drink with the highest calories would be the iced peppermint white chocolate mocha coming in at 700 calories for a venti made with whole milk and whipped cream.
  • The strawberries and cream Frappucino© surprisingly has 360 calories for the tall made with 2% milk and whipped cream.
  • White hot chocolate is 380 calories and 15 g of fat for the tall made with 2% milk and whipped cream.

A suggestion for drinks: they are not meals, and if they are over 200 calories are probably not the best choice, please, take the time to get online and check out your favorite flavors, order smaller sizes if you MUST have your favorite drink and don’t forget the milk options and skipping the whipped cream can help too!! Happy drinking!

Nutrition information is available at Here’s a list of Starbucks drinks for under 200 calories.

Assistance provided by: Christina Wolfe

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