Skip to main content
take the reality check diet analysis take the reality check diet analysis

Healthy Eating

Here you will find tons of information about healthy eating and incorporating the principles of healthy nutrition into your daily life. Built around Dr. Cederquist’s nutritional foundation for healthy weight loss, these articles place a wealth of information right at your fingertips.

Healthy Holiday Drinks at Starbucks for the 2021 Season

It's that time of year again... The season for the red exterior Starbucks coffee cup! Use these healthy Starbucks drink tips to get in the holiday spirit without packing on unwanted calories!

Healthy Holiday Drinks at Starbucks for the 2021 Season

It is that time of year again... A time in which Starbucks® reveals its much-anticipated lineup for their holiday drinks and festive cups! 

And while these decorated cups are undeniably eye appealing, it is on the inside that tends to matter most. More times than not, though, those coffee drinks are rich in fat, sugar, and calories. 

So move over pumpkin spice latte… The Starbucks starting lineup has arrived to score the taste buds. (And with a cool new non-dairy option to not miss!)

Starbucks® Holiday Menu (& Healthy Tips)

The Eggnog Latte may have bowed out gracefully, but the holiday starting lineup is still sure to score the taste buds.

So move over pumpkin spice latte… The Starbucks starting lineup has arrived to score the taste buds. (And with a cool new non-dairy option to not miss!)

Find out who made the cut and how to enjoy a low-calorie and sugar-free holiday drink at Starbucks this year!

1. Peppermint Mocha

Would it really be winter without the notorious Peppermint Mocha? 

This "minter" favorite is crafted with signature espresso and steamed milk, sweetened with flavors of chocolate and peppermint, and topped off with whipped cream and dark chocolate curls. 

Really, this drink was just mint to warm your red cup this holiday season!

Healthy Starbucks® Holiday Drink Tip: 
"Skinny up" the original peppermint mocha for a low-calorie Starbucks winter drink option. Simply opt for nonfat milk and request sugar-free peppermint and mocha flavorings. 

2. Caramel Brulée Latte

Espresso, steamed milk, and rich caramel brulée sauce topped with whipped cream and shimmery caramel brulée topping... 

While it sounds delightful, the brulée sauce and topping are concentrated in corn syrup and sugar. A Grande-sized Caramel Brulée Latte contains almost 50 grams of sugar.

Healthy Starbucks® Holiday Drink Tip:
To reduce the added sugar by request a light drizzle of the brulée sauce and sugar-free caramel flavoring. 

3. Chestnut Praline Latte

Espresso with flavors of caramelized chestnuts and holiday spices, chestnuts are ready to roast in your Starbucks cup this holiday season! 

Compared to other coffees flavored with multiple syrups and toppings, the Chestnut Praline Latte might be the healthiest option. In fact, the ingredients are fairly simple: Milk, brewed espresso, and chestnut praline syrup.

Healthy Starbucks® Holiday Drink Tip: 
If watching calories, order a partial pump of syrup with nonfat milk. Skipping the whipped cream can save about 140 calories as well.

4. Toasted White Chocolate Mocha

Espresso combined with steamed milk and the flavors of toasted white chocolate, all topped with favorite holiday sugar sparkles and crispy white pearls! 

But the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha contains quite the laundry list of ingredients, including sugar, corn syrup, sugar malt extract, dried glucose syrup, amongst other things. 

Healthy Starbucks® Holiday Drink Tip:
Enjoy the Starbucks® holiday treat in moderation. Also ask for sugar-free vanilla and smaller quantities of the toasted white chocolate mocha sauce, holiday sugar sparkles, and crispy white pearls.

5. Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte

Introducing the newest option on the Starbucks® holiday menu… Iced sugar cookie almond milk latte! 

The non-dairy Starbucks® holiday drink blends their signature blonde espresso roast, sugar cookie flavored syrup, and almond milk. To totally get in the Christmas spirit, the beverage is topped with red and green sprinkles.

Wishing for a warm and cozy drink to sip on? Do not let the "iced" part fool you… The Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte is available as a hot or iced drink!

Healthy Starbucks® Holiday Drink Tip:
Reduce the amount of pumps of the sugar cookie flavored syrup. Likewise, omit or reduce the spinkles to lower overall sugar content. 

6. Irish Cream Cold Brew

While not new to the Starbucks® holiday menu, the Irish Cream Cold Brew is back to please! A super smooth cold brew married with Irish cream syrup and topped with a cream cold foam and cocoa powder - what is not to love? 

Healthy Starbucks® Holiday Drink Tip:
Reduce the amount of pumps of the Irish cream flavored syrup. Also, request light or "no" cold foam if or as desired. 

Healthy Starbucks® Drink Tips

In addition to tweaking healthy holiday coffee drinks, these tips healthify those Starbucks® runs throughout the entire year!

1. Swap Out Milks

Simply swapping out whole or two percent milk with nonfat will naturally cut the amount of fat and calories. The swap will not compromise protein and calcium, either.

Other milk offerings include oat, soy, coconut, and almond milks.

2. Limit Syrup Pumps

Syrups are essentially nothing more than pure sugar, easily piling up unnecessary calories. In fact, dismissing even one pump of syrup can trim off about 20 calories and five grams of sugar! 

Likewise ask for sugar-free flavorings, including vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, mocha, peppermint, cinnamon dolce, and raspberry, to enjoy the same sweet taste without the extra calories and sugar. 

3. Spice It Up

You can also skip out on the syrup entirely. Flavor any sort of coffee, including a hot cup of joe or cold brew, with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and cocoa.

4. Ask for Extra Foam

Ask for extra foam (not the creamy, sugar foam) to top your beverage naturally cuts down on calories. The foam is lighter in volume and calories compared to milk straight from the carton or jug.

5. Add Espresso

An espresso shot provides only five calories while adding a little more pep in your step! Adding espresso can naturally displace or reduce milk capacity and room for whipped cream.

6. Downsize and Enjoy Modestly

Especially considering the limited edition of these holiday drinks, they can certainly be enjoyed in their original, untouched form. Besides, a treat here and there will not significantly impact weight loss.

But instead of consuming the largest cup offered, downsize the volume ordered. Truly, relish on the flavors and that seasonal favorite! 

Recapping Starbucks® Holiday Menu 

When the Starbucks® holiday menu drops each year, it is a time to be alive! This year's holiday drinks - like a warm Peppermint Mocha or chilled Irish Cream Cold Brew - are sure to at least get your tastebuds in the holiday spirit. 

While the Starbucks® holiday drinks might not fit into your dedicated diet plan, a few tweaks can lower overall sugar, fat, and calories. Remember, though, sipping on an annual favorite drink will not totally derail progress and seasonal treats should and can be enjoyed in moderation!

Sydney Lappe's Photo
Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on April 17, 2017. Updated on November 10, 2021.


Follow @bistroMD

Theme picker

as seen on...
Dr Phil
Lifetime Network
The Biggest Loser
The Doctors