The Diet Detective: Calories in Coffee Drinks and Other Beverages

Dunkin' Donuts

DD has a lot of beverages to choose from—more combinations than you can imagine. Stay away from most of the fancier drinks that are obviously high in calories. The Coolatta, for example, can have as many as 970 calories, more than 50 percent of what must people should consume in a day. Also, watch out for the frozen drinks (Caramel, Coffee and Mocha); they're anywhere from 210 (with skim milk) to 1,050 calories.

Best Bets: Their iced coffee is available in a wide variety of flavors. According to a Dunkin' Donuts representative, the number of calories per cup of coffee does differ from one flavor to another. For instance, a small coffee in one of DD's unsweetened flavors, including Blueberry, Raspberry and Toasted Almond, is about 10 to15 calories. DD also has various coffee blends including Original, French Vanilla and Hazelnut, which are about 10 to 30 calories depending on the size.

Just don't confuse the above with the higher-calorie sweetened flavors such as Caramel Mocha (170 calories for a medium black coffee) and Mocha Almond (160 calories for a medium black coffee) iced coffee. For more information (which is NOT easily found on DD's website) see this link.

More: Learn to Snack Strategically

Starbucks

As you might have heard, most of these coffee specialty drinks have loads of calories. For instance, an Iced Caff? Mocha (16 ounces with whipped cream and whole milk) has 330 calories. An Iced Caramel Macchiato (16 ounces) is 230 calories, and an Iced Peppermint Mocha (16 ounces with 2 percent milk and whipped cream) is 390 calories. In addition, Starbucks recently introduced the Mocha Cookie Crumble and Chocolate Cookie Crumble Cr?me Mocha Coconut Frappuccino at 470 calories for 16 ounces made with 2 percent milk and whipped cream, and the Coconut Cr?me Frappuccino at 330 calories for 16 ounces made with 2 percent milk and whipped cream. In case you didn't already know, almost all the Frappuccinos and other fancy drinks are not healthy choices.

Best Bets: Go for a mix of Tazo Black Shaken Iced Tea and Shaken Tazo Iced Passion Tea, both unsweetened and very tasty with zero calories. The Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher, made with fruit juice, blackberries and Green Coffee Extract, is 70 calories for 16 ounces. There is also the Cool Lime Refresher, made with citrus fruit juice, mint and a lime slice shaken with Green Coffee Extract, which is 50 calories for 16 ounces. Try the Iced Caff? Americano at 15 calories for 16 ounces. Or, if you must have a latte, choose the Iced Skinny Flavored Latte at 80 calories for 16 ounces.

Keep in mind that you should always choose nonfat milk, which saves up to 120 calories. If you can't give up having your drink sweetened, you can switch to sugar-free syrup and cut 20 calories per pump. Forget the whipped cream—that's another 50 to 110 calories. Also, keep in mind that Starbucks makes good plain iced coffee; get that with skim milk.

Here are a few other lower-calorie versions of high-calorie drinks. Just keep in mind that I said lower, not low in calories.

  • Iced Skinny Mocha (16 ounces, 100 calories)
  • Iced Skinny Flavored Latte (16 ounces, 80 calories)
  • Coffee Frappuccino Light Blended Beverage (16 ounces,110 calories)

More: Think Before You Drink

Subway

Subway, the self-proclaimed healthy food chain, has mostly bottled or fountain sodas and drinks ranging from 310 to 620 calories. They also offer bottled water, coffee, apple juice (0 to 300 calories), 1 percent low-fat milk (160 calories), chocolate reduced fat milk (300 calories) and Vitamin Water Zero (0 calories). Subway also has FUZE Iced Tea (typically 0 to 250 calories), but for some reason the king of healthy foods doesn't have calorie information on its menu.

  • Fuze Brewed Unsweetened Tea         (21 fl oz) 0 calories
  • Fuze Brewed Green Tea                     (21 fl oz) 140 calories
  • Fuze Brewed Lemon Sweet Tea         (21 fl oz) 170 calories
  • Fuze Brewed Raspberry Tea              (21 fl oz) 230 calories
  • Fuze Brewed Sweet Tea                     (21 fl oz)  170 calories
  • Fuze Brewed Southern Sweet Tea     (21 fl oz)  250 calories

Best Bet:  A bottle of water or the unsweetened iced tea.

More: A Lesson in Calorie Counting

Taco Bell

They've introduced the Frutista Freeze, which is more dessert than beverage, with the mango weighing in at 250 calories for 16 ounces and the strawberry at 230. Taco Bell also serves a Frozen Strawberry Lemonade, which is 280 calories for 16 ounces, and a Cherry Limeade Sparkler for 270 calories. Even the iced tea is 160 calories for 16 ounces.

Best Bet: Ask for water or diet soda.

More: How Many Calories Are You Eating?

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