Keep Your Coffee Run Healthy by Picking Up One of These Drinks
As much as we love Starbucks' decadent drinks—cinnamon white mocha, hello—those fancy lattes and macchiatos can be calorie bombs. And while there's room in any diet for the occasional indulgence, a 500-calorie latte should not be a regular part of any diet. Thankfully, lots of Starbucks' options won't break the calorie bank. Try one of these drinks the next time you're craving a fancy brew.
If you're looking for the healthiest option (next to plain coffee), pick up an Americano, hot or iced. Americanos are made with espresso diluted in water, so you'll get a strong coffee flavor with no sugar and without many calories. In fact, a grande iced Americano has just 15 calories and 3 grams of carbs, with no sugar as well as no fat. Your add-ins will all add calories, though, so keep it healthy by flavoring your Americano with skim milk.
2. Shaken Iced White Tea
If you're looking for a more refreshing—and less caffeinated—alternative, pick up a Teavana shaken iced white tea. Like an Americano, it's very low in calories, at 45 calories for a grande, and can be even lower if you ask them to serve it half-sweet or unsweetened. White tea offers health benefits too. Because white tea is the most unprocessed variety of tea, it's especially packed with beneficial antioxidants called catechins—the same heart-healthy phytonutrients found in green tea.
3. Skinny Latte
While some of Starbucks' lattes can pack in hundreds of calories, their skinny latte is still pretty good for you. A grande skinny latte has just 120 calories, which means it won't blow your calorie budget for the day, and manages to pack in 12 grams of protein, which makes it a somewhat filling treat. You'll get the most benefit if you ask for your latte unsweetened, since the sugar-free syrups used to make sweetened lattes contain artificial sweeteners. But if you enjoy a latte as an occasional treat, a few pumps of syrup isn't the end of the world.
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4. Nonfat Tazo Green Tea Latte
If you're in a latte rut, the green tea latte can be a healthy way to mix it up. The green tea latte is made with matcha, a powdered form of green tea made by crushing whole green tea leaves. That means matcha has all the benefits of green tea, including its cardiovascular benefits. A grande green tea latte has 190 calories—a significant amount, but low enough to fit into a calorie-controlled diet—and supplies 12 grams of protein. It is, however, higher in sugar than the skinny latte, at 33 grams per serving, so you should still practice moderation.
Sylvie Tremblay is a food and lifestyle writer based in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. A green smoothie aficionado, she's written about delicious and healthy eating for Livestrong, Healthy Directions Magazine, Vitamix, Kroger and more.