Coffee holds an important spot in American life. We sometimes drink it all day, with breakfast, lunch, and even dinner. Particularly, having a cup of joe after lunch gives us that needed boost to counter the afternoon down time. In fact, medical studies suggest that coffee may decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, dementia, as well as certain cancers, heart rhythm problems and strokes.
The truth is, coffee is a very healthy drink. However, parts of the coffee industry have the tendency to make it worse by fattening it up, creating some food land mines along the way. Fundamentally, coffee houses supply high quality coffee drinks that I usually cannot replicate at home. This week, I want to dish out some intel about our favorite coffee drinks. Get to know what is a lunchtime delight, and what may be Death in disguise. Here are the findings from three coffee houses. Some are among the “Fatty choices”, and some are among the “Skinny choices”.
When I mention Dunkin’ Donuts, one may ask how I can fit that into my healthy lunch concept. However, since this chain has yet to be a big player in coffee, they keep it simple; and that’s precisely how they keep it healthy. Besides, they still offer that small 10 oz cup.
- Iced Caramel Mocha Latte with Milk Medium: 330, 9 gm fat/ 6 gm sat. fat, 50gm sugars
- Caramel Mocha Coffee with Cream Medium: 260 cal, 9 gm fat/ 6 gm sat. fat, 36 gm sugars
- Iced Latte Lite Medium: 120 cal, 0 gm fat, 15 gm sugars
- Cappuccino Small: 80 cal, 4 gm fat/ 2.5 gm sat. fat, 7 gm sugars
Those of you in the eastern United States or in the mid-west may be familiar with these guys. They are the number 2 chain in US after Starbucks. With their coffee we begin to talk about some serious trimmings.
- Cookies & Cream Snowdrift Small: 590 cal, 25 gm fat/ 13 gm sat. fat, 71 gm sugars. For dieters, this is the “weapon of mass destruction”. Besides, it doesn’t even have any caffeine!
- Breve Small: 350 cal, 31 gm fat/ 19 gm sat. fat, 0 gm sugars. The curse comes from the half & half.
- Caramel High Rise Small: 280 cal, 15.5 gm fat/ 10 gm sat. fat, 29 gm sugars
- Macchiato: 15 cal, 0.5 gm fat/ 0 gm sat. fat, 1 gm sugar. Like they say on the menu, this is an Italian classic–well worth it.
- Cappuccino Small: 45 cal, 2 gm fat/ 1 gm sat. fat, 4 gm sugars
- Iced Northern Lite Latte: 45 cal, 0 gm fat, 6 gm sugars
Starbucks is undoubtedly the big brother of coffee. With coffee houses coast-to-coast, chances are you will be buying coffee from them some day, or everyday. The good thing about Starbucks is that they make your coffee the way you like it. For a healthy cup, practise these commands, “Tall-non-fat-no-whip-sugar-free” or to be more chic, just say “Tall-skinny”.
- Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha Grande: 540 cal, 19 gm fat/ 12 gm sat. fat, 76 gm sugar. Another “weapon of mass destruction”.
- Iced Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha Grande: 520 cal, 20 gm fat/ 13 gm sat. fat, 71 gm sugar. I wonder what’s up with that white chocolate?
- Caffe Americano Grande: 15 cal, 0 gm fat, 0 gm sugars.
- Iced Caffe Americano Grande: 15 cal, 0 gm fat, 0 gm sugars. Starbucks describes these two “Rich and full-bodied”, I think they are what drinking coffee is all about.
- Espresso Con Panna (Espresso Topped with Whipped Cream): 30 cal, 2.5 gm fat/ 1.5 gm sat. fat, <1 gm sugars. Thumbs up for Starbucks for creating this drink for those who even cannot let go of the whipped cream. This is my new favorite. Unfortunately, it is not listed on the menu and you have to ask about it.
- Skinny Flavored Latte Grande: 130 cal, 0 gm fat, 17 gm sugars. Aimed for the fat skimmers, Starbucks claims that you are not missing much, except the fat.
So there you have it. Next time when you and your buddies are grabbing your cup of joe after lunch, you can confidently avoid the coffee land mines.