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The Unhealthiest Starbucks Drinks With More Calories Than a Meal

September 7, 2023

At the end of a long hard day, there is something about a special treat from Starbucks that always seems to hit the spot. From frappuccinos to chai lattes, a sweet drink with some whipped cream can be a nice way to treat yourself. However, some Starbucks drinks do have a downside — they can be super high in calories. While some Starbucks orders can be simple like an americano or a vanilla latte, other more complicated and dessert-like drinks can really rack up the calories and sugar content. If you’re looking to stay within a certain range with your daily caloric intake, Starbucks drinks might not be the best bet for consuming right, staying full, and fueling your body with the proper nutrients. Here are eight unhealthiest Starbucks drinks to avoid if you’re trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

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1. Salted Caramel Mocha

While a Salted Caramel Mocha sounds delicious in theory, this sweet and savory drink is packed with 470 calories, 10 grams of saturated fat, and 59 grams of added sugar if you order a 16-ounce size. Made of mocha sauce, toffee nut syrup, coffee, steamed milk, and topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel drizzle, turbinado sugar, and sea salt, this drink has almost the same amount of calories as a six-piece chicken nugget Happy Meal from McDonald’s — fries included!

2. Pumpkin Spice Latte

This is the bad news that nobody wants but needs to hear: the stand-out drink that kicks off every single fall season is not at the top of the list when it comes to healthy coffee drink choices. A grande Pumpkin Spice Latte is 390 calories plus 50 grams of sugar. If you’re looking to cut calories with this pumpkin-flavored drink, you can ask for fewer pumps of pumpkin spice sauce, less whip, or no whip, for example, if you’re looking to cut calories.

3. Iced Caramel Macchiato

The Iced Caramel Macchiato is one of Starbucks’ staple drinks. Popular and tasty, this drink does okay when it comes to the calorie count. A 16-ounce grande with caramel drizzle and three pumps of vanilla will only run you about 250 calories. However, it’s the sugar content in this one that really raises dieticians’ eyebrows with 34 grams ber grande. Skip the fancy macchiato and opt for something more filling and packed with protein like a Taco Bell Crunchy Beef Taco at just 159 calories and only 3.5 grams of saturated fat.

4. Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino

This blended drink only has 80 fewer calories than a McDonald’s Big Mac. The Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino is a triple threat (to your health) with 470 calories, 14 grams of fat (70% of your daily value), and 60 grams of sugar for a grande-sized drink — which is over double your daily limit recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA).

5. Matcha Lemonade

While matcha on its own has some amazing health benefits being that it is rich in antioxidants. However, once mixed with sugary lemonade, it is an entirely different story. While low in calories and a quite simple ingredient list — at 27 grams of sugar for a grande — you’re looking at almost an entire day’s worth of sugar in one Matcha Lemonade. For context, three Oreo cookies don’t even come close to the same sugar content.

6. Pink Drink

The Pink Drink might be TikTok royalty, but when it comes to healthy Starbucks options, this one is not wearing any crowns. It may seem like Starbucks refresher drinks would lie on the side of healthier options because of their fruit infusions. However, a grande-size drink will run you around 25 grams of sugar — almost the same as a standard package of Reese’s.

7. White Hot Chocolate

This White Hot Chocolate may be perfect for special occasions, like viewing holiday lights on a wintery night, but you may not want to keep this drink in your regular rotation. A 16-ounce with whipped cream topping is a whopping 440 calories, almost the same as three Crunchy Beef Tacos at Taco Bell!

8. Cinnamon Shortbread Latte

While the Cinnamon Shortbread Latte sounds delicious and cozy on a winter evening, with 8 grams of saturated fat, that makes up 40% of the average person’s daily diet by the last sip. You’re also looking at 350 calories and 39 grams of sugar per 16 ounces, officially over your daily limit from the AHA. This seasonal drink may make a reappearance during the holiday season, but you’re better off substituting this latte with some oat milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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