Some Starbucks orders contain more fat and cholesterol than a Big Mac (or two!). Some contain as much sugar as 6 Twinkies. While there are plenty of perfectly harmless items on the menu, there are definitely some to steer clear of if you're making efforts to supplement a healthy lifestyle. Here are some of the most unhealthy drinks on the menu for reasons such as sugar, cholesterol and fat content and lack of any positive nutritional value.
The most popular holiday drink on the menu, most people overlook the facts that make this drink a nutritional catastrophe. In only 12 ounces of the stuff, you'll get 320 calories, 35% the recommended daily value of saturated fat, 42 grams of sugar and 13% the daily value of cholesterol. Yikes!
Chai Tea Latte
When one thinks "chai tea" in the name, they probably don't think this could be anything too bad! The 'tea' lattes at Starbucks are sweet and delicious, but that's achieved by adding tons of sugary syrups. A tall chai tea latte has 190 calories and 32 grams of sugar- if you can, you'd save a lot of sugar intake if you made your own with some chai tea, milk and a more modest amount of sugar.
Caramel Flan Latte
The name speaks for itself- anything named after a sugary, fattening dessert probably isn't going to be healthy, and this one is case in point. You'll get 260 calories in 12 ounces, along with 30% daily value of saturated fat, 21 grams of sugar and 15% daily value of cholesterol. Might as well grab some caramel flan and indulge in the real thing!
Caramel Brulee Latte
Another dessert-inspired drink, are you surprised? A tall size of this one has even more calories and sugar than the caramel flan latte, but at least you get some holiday cheer, if that's what your after! 12 ounces has 340 calories, 40 grams of sugar, 30% daily value of saturated fat and 13% daily value of cholesterol.
White Hot Chocolate
While the regular hot chocolate managed to avoid this list, the white hot chocolate had some pretty shocking nutrition facts. Grab a mug of the stuff and you're essentially eating 12 teaspoons of straight sugar along with half your recommended consumption of saturated fat. A mere 12 ounces has 370 calories, 47 grams of sugar and 50% daily value of saturated fat.
Green Tea Soy Latte
Another oh-so-deceptive "tea" latte! These actually taste more like candy than tea in my opinion, which is great for a sweet treat but the energy from this pick-me-up is really just sugar. A tall contains 260 calories, 40 grams of sugar and 15% the recommended daily value of saturated fat.
Caramel Apple Spice Drink
Don't let the "apples" in this drink fool you- this isn't as innocent as a glass of apple juice! The caramel flavoring adds a hefty amount of sugar to the already-sweet drink, and unfortunately there's no fiber or protein in this drink at all (so the nutritional value is clearly lacking). By consuming 290 calories, 53 grams of sugar, 20% the daily value of saturated fat and 0 grams protein and fiber in only 12 ounces, you're not doing any good with this one!
So 3 out of the 8 drinks on this list were holiday drinks, which is unfortunate because they're all pretty great, but there's no denying the facts. While the sugar content of this drink is astounding, the saturated fat and cholesterol are even more so. 12 ounces contains a whopping 370 calories, 39 grams of sugar, 50% daily value of cholesterol, and 60% the daily value of saturated fat (that's as much saturated fat and even more cholesterol than a big mac- in the smallest size!). Wow.
So what's "safe" at Starbucks? Well, as mentioned above, if a drink is named after something super-decadent, it's probably better if you avoid it. And, if your drink is as sweet as a Twinkie there's a good chance it's just as sinful! Indulging in these drinks once in a while is ok (as a "treat" or dessert), but by no means should they be consumed as a replacement to meals or healthy snacks and drinks. As with anything, these drinks should be consumed in moderation, and hopefully these nutrition facts were enlightening to those of us who drink lattes daily!