Caloric Coffee Concoctions—What You Need to Know


We have ALL been there. It’s 3 p.m. and we want, no, we NEED a snack. Anything to get us through the last few hours of the workday. Lately it seems the days of reaching for an apple, orange or even a yogurt are prehistoric. If you are like the average New Yorker, your afternoon fix has taken the form of a coffee concoction, most likely from one of the 174 Starbucks located on our tiny island. Not only has this switch in our society become more complicated but along with the switch a bunch of pesky calories have followed.

Previously, the coffee menu consisted of regular or decaf. Then, a latte was added joined by a skim latte. Next thing, we were faced with frappucinos, light frappucinos, macchiatos, dolces, whipped cream, skim milk, full fat—the list could go on and on. Because all these drinks are still coffee, most people don’t think about the calories added with all the extra ingredients.

Well, sorry to burst your bubble or perhaps rain on your coffee parade, but these drinks can actually be diet saboteurs, the reason why those stubborn last five pounds will not vanish.

Before you sneak out of your cube or office and head over to your favorite barista and put in your coffee order, take a look at the nutritional information for some of the more popular drink choices.

coffee-drink2Nutritional Information in Size Grande
Pumpkin Spice Frappucino – 400 calories, 15g of fat 62g carbs
White Mocha Frappucino – 410 cals, 16g of fat, 62g carbs
Iced Gingersnap Latte – 320 cals, 15g of fat, 38g of carbs
Iced Expresso Truffle – 350 cals, 18g of fat, 38g of carbs

Don’t throw away your ‘bucks card just yet. There are tricks out there to still enjoy your favorite daily afternoon treat. Here are some healthier alternatives that taste just as great without all of the calories and fat.

Nutritional Information in Size Grande
Light Coffee Frappucino – 130 cals, 0.5g of fat, 25g carbs
Iced Brewed Coffee – 90 cals, 0g fat 21 carbs
Light Pumpkin Spiced Frappucino – 150 cals, 0.5g of fat, 31g carbs
Iced Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte – 80 cals, 0g of fat, 12g of carbs

If you still want your original fix – ask for skim milk instead of full fat, (you will hardly taste the difference) and in some situations shave up to 8g of fat and 100 calories. Hold that whipped cream! It dissolves anyway and is a waste of sugary calories. Check to see if they have a sugar free alternative to the syrup added to your drink – that could save 100 to 200 calories and you will not even know that you are being a bit healthier.

You should also take a glance at the Starbucks website,, and view the nutritional information for your favorite beverages. You can check on the calories, fat, carbs, sugar, sodium and much more on everything they have to offer before you make a decision. Best part? They offer all of the information in each of their three sizes; tall, grande and venti.

Jen Smolen— Fetta lives and works in the city and is currently pursuing her dream to be a writer. Her food blog includes diet friendly tips, recipes and fun food facts. Please visit her at

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