What’s in your “Coffee”?

The holidays are almost upon us, and Starbucks has already rolled out their holiday drinks. Instagram is filled with Peppermint Mochas and Caramel Brule Lattes! While most people know that baked goods and holiday treats contain a lot of sugar, we often overlook our beverages. Today, I want to share some of the nutrition facts of the popular holiday drinks and also offer suggestions for making better choices. There is nothing wrong with having a peppermint mocha while out Christmas shopping, but if the mocha has replaced your morning coffee it has become a habit and not a treat. Here are the calories and sugar content of the popular holiday drinks.

Grande Peppermint Mocha
444 calories
54g of sugar

Grande Gingerbread Latte
440 calories
54g of sugar

Toasted White Chocolate Mocha
420 calories
53g of sugar

Not only do each of these drinks equal a meal in calories, they are mostly “empty” calories. Even though the drinks average 15g of protein and fat per beverage, outside of that they are mostly liquid sugar. I have no problem with calories if they are nutrient dense, and give your body what it needs. These are mostly “empty” calories because they contain little nutrient value.


Order a simple beverage 

Coffee itself does not contain sugar. There are many drinks at Starbucks that contain little sugar and have a bold and creamy coffee flavour.

Grande Almond Milk Latte
100 calories
5g of sugar

Flat White-Whole Milk and Brewed Espresso
220 calories
17g of sugar

Americano-Hot Water and Espresso
15 calories
0g of sugar

*This beverage is quite creamy and a little added cream goes a LONG way


“But I don’t like coffee…”

First, we cannot be friends. Second, why are you buying a coffee beverage if you DON’T LIKE COFFEE? It might be time to ask yourself, “Am I buying coffee or am I buying sugar?” You can buy sugar everyday if you want to, but you need to call it what it is. If you’re buying the beverage because you need the caffeine, but you want to mask the coffee flavour, there is a simple way to cut back. A flavoured Grande Latte has four pumps of syrup in it. Start by asking for one less pump and eventually work your way down to one pump. This will significantly lower the sugar content, and you may surprise yourself by developing a liking for the coffee flavour.

Save your sugar for your favourite treats! If that’s a Mocha from Starbucks on Christmas Eve, go for it!

Eat Your Veggies!



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