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Drink This, Not That This Season

Holiday coffee drinks are more loaded than you might think.

It's that time of year again. The past two months I've indulged in pumpkin spiced lattes, and now the peppermint and gingerbread varieties help me ring in the holiday cheer when out shopping- and I normally don't even drink coffee.

These holiday inspired coffees were in high demand at Harris Teeter's Starbucks Coffee location in yesterday morning's line of customers. Ordering a skinny latte does not cancel out the calories in the slice of poundcake beckoning you by the cash register. In fact, for the same amount of sugar in most of the listed drinks below, you can enjoy two slices of pumpkin pie. Here are some tips to keep in mind when ordering.

  • Forgo the whipped cream and opt for skim milk, which can spare you almost 100 calories.
  • Substitute a cappuccino for a latte, which has less milk and thus fewer calories.
  • Exercise portion control and ask for a small or medium-sized coffee when you want to indulge. 

Here are the calorie counts for coffee extras

  • Heavy Whipping Cream, 1 Tbsp: 50 calories
  • Half and Half, 1 Tbsp: 20 calories
  • Whole Milk, 1 Tbsp: 9 calories
  • Fat-free/skim milk, 1 Tbsp: 5 calories
  • Plain Nondairy Creamer (powder) 1 Tbsp: 30 calories
  • Low-Fat Plain Nondairy Creamer (powder) 1 Tbsp: 25 calories
  • 1 tsp. sugar: 15 calories
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar: 45 calories
  • Sugar Free coffee syrups: 0 calories
  • 1 Cup coffee, plain: Less than 5 calories

Top Five Worst Holiday Coffees:

*For comparison, a regular coffee with cream and sugar is only about 65 calories.

Venti Starbucks Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha (with whole milk and whipped cream)

  • 700 calories
  • 27g fat (17g saturated)
  • 95g sugars

Large McDonald’s Frappe Caramel

  • 680 calories
  • 29g fat (18g saturated; 1.5g trans)
  • 88g sugars

Venti Starbucks Eggnog Latte (with whole milk)

  • 630 calories
  • 30g fat (18g saturated)
  • 64g sugars

Dunkin’ Donuts Gingerbread Latte (large)

  • 440 calories
  • 12g fat (7g saturated)
  • 68g sugars

Panera Bread Peppermint Hot Chocolate (14.25 oz.)

  • 610 calories
  • 17g fat (11g saturated)
  • 83g sugars

*In comparison, Panera’s regular 10 oz. hot chocolate without whipped cream is just 270 calories, 7g fat (4½g saturated), with 38g sugars.

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