McDonald's is now in the coffee and drink business—in a big way.
You would think that the Premium Roast Iced Coffee would be served the same way as regular hot Premium Roast Coffee—plain, unless you ask for sugar, milk, etc. But that's not how McD's does it. It's served with light cream and your choice of liquid sugar or flavored (hazelnut, vanilla or caramel) syrups. A small with liquid sugar (and cream) is 140 calories. A medium is 200 calories and a large is 280. McD's big summer drink is the McCaf? Frapp? Chocolate Chip made with a mocha coffee base, chocolate chips and whipped cream plus a double drizzle of chocolate and caramel. Small is 450 calories, medium is 560 calories, and the large is a whopping 680 calories.
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They've also added a line of smoothies made with real fruit, but that doesn't mean that the smoothies don't also have other ingredients such as added sugar. Smoothies and McDonald's other flavored drinks (Chillers, lemonade, etc.) range from approximately 200 to 330 calories, depending on size.
Best Bet: Order the Premium Iced Coffee plain and add your own cream and sugar (go light). Or you can have the McCaf? Iced Latte, but ask for nonfat milk. A small is only 50 calories.
Oh, and you can always order a bottle of water or ask for a cup of water.
Burger King also has jumped into the drink and coffee game. They're offering frozen lemonade and frozen strawberry lemonade, which range in calories from 80 to 200 (the frozen strawberry has almost twice as many calories). They also have several coffee drinks, including Iced Seattle's Best Coffee, ranging from 80 calories for a small to 140 for a large. Iced Seattle's Best Coffee Mocha is 180 (small) to 340 (large). You should probably avoid the Coke Icee, which can have as many as 170 calories, as well as their line of smoothies (from 200 to 450) and the Caramel and Mocha Frapp? (410 to 600). Apparently, the BK smoothies are hand-blended to order and include a serving of fruit blended with juice and low-fat yogurt—but they're still high in calories.
Best Bet: Nestea or Gold Peak Unsweetened (Plain) Iced Tea or the Iced Seattle's Best Coffee without milk or sugar.
Wendy's doesn't have many healthy low-cal choices. There's an All-Natural Lemonade, which ranges from 190 to 410 calories, a Wild Berry Tea, from 70 to 140 calories, and a Wild Berry Lemonade, which ranges from 230 to 480 calories. Also, they promote the lemonade as somewhat healthy and natural, but all these drinks have added sugar and/or corn syrup. Also, watch out for those Frosty shakes, they're high in calories and should always be considered dessert.
Best Bet: Brewed Unsweetened Iced Tea is only 5 calories.