Published March 20, 2018
As summer approaches at a rapid rate, many of us are carefully watching what we eat, but what about what we're drinking? Everyone appreciates a nice morning caffeine buzz in the form of an icy coffee drink, but unfortunately, many of us are blind to the fat, sugar, and high caloric content of these drinks.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be this way. Most venues will promote their new sugary additions to the menu because they may be more summery or outlandish, but there are a few of rules of thumb that will help you avoid unwanted fat and sugar when ordering your iced coffee at your favorite restaurant or coffee joint. For one, we know whipped cream, flavored syrups, and crazy toppings like drizzles or cookie crumbles will add on calories and fat. Plus, they take away from the coffee’s flavor, and isn’t that the real reason you’re ordering your beverage anyway? Also, buzzwords like "chill," "lotta," "supreme," and "blast," can almost guarantee that your drink will contain more sugar and calories than you want to ingest. That iced drink isn’t going to be any colder by adding "frozen" into the name, but you can almost certainly bet it will be unhealthy.
Not all hope is lost, though — you can still find plenty of cold coffee treats to satisfy your cravings without busting your diet. We did some research and found out everything you need to know about your favorite restaurants and the summery coffee drinks they offer. By taking a good look at the calories, grams of fat, and sugar content in each medium-sized beverage, we were able to find the best, the worst, and the downright craziest drinks for you to enjoy — or avoid — this summer.
Worst: Mocha Java Chiller (890 calories, 41 grams of fat, 72 grams of sugar)
Better: Premium Roast Coffee (15 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of sugar)
As a drive-thru, Sonic is a summer post-beach favorite for icy drinks, but don’t let their Mocha Java Chiller fool you. With more fat than a large serving of Sonic french fries (the large fries have 22 grams of fat), the caffeine jolt doesn’t compare to the damage this will do to your bikini bod. Better to stick to plain coffee at this fast-food spot.
Worst: Chocolate Coffee Crunch JavaKula (500 calories, 14 grams of fat, 72 grams of sugar)
Better: Cold Brewed Vanilla Latte (150 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 26 grams of sugar)
Seattle’s Best just got better because they have an 110-calorie alternative to their Chocolate Coffee Crunch JavaKula — which is Seattle’s worst. If you want to enjoy a cold brewed coffee without all that other sugar and fat involved in a crunchy coffee drink, choose the cold brewed vanilla latte — it’s a lot of sugar, but quite a reduction in calories and fat.
Worst: Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino (580 calories, 21 grams of fat, 93 grams of sugar)
Better: Iced Skinny Mocha (100 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 8 grams of sugar)
Frappuccinos are cold and creamy, but the fat from the cream base and topping of whipped cream will spin your diet a complete 180 and send you in the wrong direction. The Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino is drenched with high-sugar syrups, and a crunchy sugar topping, making the calorie count soar. Instead, order the Iced Skinny Mocha. "Skinny" options at Starbucks make it easy to enjoy your coffee without the extra fat, because they automatically include sugar-free syrups and nonfat milk, without you having to specify. And of course, it is still delicious, iced Starbucks coffee with a hint of chocolaty mocha flavor.
Worst: Frozen Caramel Coffee Coolatta (550 calories, 11 grams of fat, 107 grams of sugar)
Better: Iced Caramel Latte Light (120 calories, 0 grams of fat, 15 grams of sugar)
Dunkin Donuts is great for a grab-and-go experience in the summer when you need a cold coffee drink, but a Coffee Coolatta is not the healthiest option. Made with sugary caramel syrup, cream, and topped with whipped cream, it is both high in calories and a danger to your summer body. This Caramel Coffee Coolatta contains 107 grams of sugar, which is half a cup of sugar — so imagine drinking straight sugar before you order! Ditch the Coolatta and instead have an Iced Caramel Latte Light, which is on the DD Smart menu. The nonfat milk and low-calorie caramel will still satisfy your sweet tooth without adding extra calories.
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