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Healthy Holiday Drinks at Starbucks

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!

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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 sugar and fat.

With these healthy Starbucks drink tips, keep in the holiday spirit without the worry of packing on hundreds of unwanted calories!

Starbucks® Holiday Drink List

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

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® 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® Drink Tip:

To reduce the added sugar by requesting 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® 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. Eggnog Latte

The Eggnog Latte screams the holidays!

The latte is crafted with espresso, combined with rich, steamed eggnog and milk, and dusted with a sprinkle of ground nutmeg.

Healthy Starbucks® Drink Tip:

To cut down on calories, ask for a smaller volume of eggnog and balance with more nonfat milk or a shot of espresso. Ordering a Tall over a Grande will also save almost 100 calories.

5. Toasted White Chocolate Mocha

Espresso combined with steamed milk and the flavors of toasted white chocolate, all topped with 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® 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.

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 choices include 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

Or, 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

Asking for extra foam to top your beverage naturally cuts down on calories, as 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!

Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on April 17, 2017. Updated on November 26, 2019.

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