This restaurant can be a delight for many, but can also be a bit confusing for others. Have you ever been to a cafe or similar restaurant and wondered what’s GOOD, what’s BAD, what should I order, and why? Wouldn’t you like to better understand what you should stay away from in terms of calorie count and possibly taste. Yes, people may have different taste preferences, however in terms of your health, the calorie counts and overall nutritional value provided DO NOT LIE!! What we eat and drink is commonly linked to obesity. The World Health Organization has acknowledged the increase in obesity over the years, and also the fact that 65% of the world’s population are located in countries where people die from being overweight rather than being underweight . This is a really good reason to be mindful of what we consume, including summer drinks at our favorite restaurants.
Below we have shared some of the WORST summer drinks available at Starbucks. I’ll also throw in information about 3 Starbucks drinks you can try or continue to enjoy. Let’s start with the drinks that are not good for you in terms of calorie count and nutritional value.
1. High Sugar Drinks
This one likely seems obvious!
Sugary drinks are generally appealing because they taste so darn good. And let’s face it, the only reason these drinks are so yummy is the high quantities of sugar. Examples of Starbucks drinks high in sugar include some of the Frappucino drinks. For example, the Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino contains a whopping 480 calories! This can account for 25 – 30% of your daily recommended caloric intake. Another Frapuccino drink you should beware of is the Tazo Green Tea Blended Creme Frappuccino, which has as much as 430 calories.
Do not let the words, GREEN TEA, fool you.
This drink can contain as much sugar as a typical can of soda. This is certainly NOT ideal. Instead, seek a Tazo Iced Green Tea which contains no calories. Also, drinks that contain syrups are most likely high in sugar as well. Most of these calories are empty calories, so it is BEST to stay away. These layered sugary drinks are often referred to as sugar bombs . In addition to doing nothing for YOUR WAIST LINE, sugar has also been linked to inflammation and chronic pain.
2. High Fat Drinks
Just like sugar, there are non-healthy fats that add calories, but no real nutritional value. If certain Starbucks drinks contain unhealthy fats, its best you STAY AWAY from these drinks. These fats are also not forgiving in terms of calorie count. Imagine filling up your recommended daily calorie range with a single drink from Starbucks!
No, this is certainly not recommended.
So, stay away from high calorie, high fat options at Starbucks. In fact, some of these high fat drinks have calorie counts that are comparable with a Big Mac burger. For example, the Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino can contain up to 520 calories and as much as 23 grams of fat! WOW! Some of these unhealthy drinks have so much fat content that you could actually taste or feel the fat as you sip the drink. The gooey contents of some of these high fat drinks may taste good when passing your taste palette, but can have serious health implications when the body digests or tries to digest them. Ideally, seek drinks with reduced fat and calorie counts.
3. Drinks With Added Milk
It may make the drink taste creamier, but added milk can greatly increase the calorie count of a drink. Really think about whether you need to add in the milk or leave it out and possibly have a more nutritious drink. Some of the summer-themed Frappuccino drinks, like the Strawberry Frappuccino, may be loaded with whipped cream and milk. This heaps on added calories with little nutritional value. If you crave the strawberry flavor of summer, you could ditch this Frappuccino and settle for a rich strawberry smoothie instead. Choose to pack on the nutrients instead with a healthy dose of strawberries, bananas and possibly a touch of protein powder to boost your energy and throughout the day. You get the beautiful berry color of the Strawberry Frappuccino and great taste without the hefty load of useless calories!
Now, that we have become more familiar with the less healthy options discussed previously, let’s look at “the good”.
- Shaken Iced Passion Tango Tea. This tea has zero calories. Can you believe it? You’ll also notice that alternatives to the low nutrient Frappuccinos include a variety of teas. Keep this option handy when choosing what to order on your next Starbucks stop.
- Iced Americano Drink. With about 10 calories per drink, the iced Americano Starbucks drink is a divine way to cool down and relax. You get a refreshing drink without the added baggage of unneeded calories. What could be better than that?
- Iced Skinny Latte. This drink comes with about 70 calories. What more can I say? Healthier, light, and definitely perfect for summer!
Do you know that you can take back control, especially over the not so nutritionally recommended drinks that Starbucks has to offer?
One way to do this is to look for ways to reduce the quantities of sugar, fat and milk that some of these drinks normally contain. Most stores acknowledge that people want HEALTHIER options and make allowances or provisions for this by creating drink alternatives. For example, asking for skimmed varieties could reduce the overall calorie count in the drink. Do not be AFRAID to ask for a healthier option of a particular drink. Healthier options may not currently exist, but enough people asking for an alternative may provoke the company to actually create one. You have MORE POWER than you think.
So keep asking for those healthier alternatives at STARBUCKS and we’ll probably see additional, healthier drinks introduced on the menu! The healthier the choices you make at Starbucks, the less likely that your body will suffer from inflammation and other chronic conditions. Being knowledgeable about superfoods that lead to increased overall health  could also assist you in making healthier selections when ordering drinks at Starbucks.
Summer is a time to have fun and let loose a little, but that does not mean that we should go overboard with high sugar, high fat, and high calories. Additional ways to make your Starbuck drink selections healthier include passing on certain ingredients entirely. For example, pass on the whipped cream and do not seek an alternative. Omit the sugar entirely by asking for an unsweetened version of the drink. Sometimes, the worst drinks for your waistline at Starbucks could actually be considered to be liquefied desserts. Doesn’t that put a whole other spin on things? Hold this thought when you’re about to order your next Starbucks summer drink and it might help keep you on a straight and healthy path!
Want to find other ways you can eat healthy while eating superfoods? Check out the Best Foods That Rapidly Slim & Heal In 7 Days program here:
Rick Kaselj, MS