Coffee shops have increased in popularity over the years. With a large variety of coffee drinks, non-coffee drinks, and plenty of food options to offer, these places stay busy all hours of the day. If you aren’t careful, you can drink and eat through an entire days’ worth of calorie, fat, and sugar recommendations!

When it comes to coffee drinks, the added calories, sugar, and fat tend to come from added flavorings. Many coffee shops add sweetened flavored syrup to your beverage to get the sweet, seasonal flavors we all love like peppermint, mocha, caramel, pumpkin, and more. Each pump of flavoring can add between 20 and 50 calories to your beverage. The healthiest choice would be to order a beverage with no added sweeteners, but if you really enjoy the flavor, why not ask for half?

Another hidden source of calories in your coffee shop beverage could be the type of milk. Many coffee shops choose to use whole milk to make your drink unless you ask them to use something different. Requesting a lower calorie and fat milk can help lower the calorie count in your drink, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you want!

Navigate your visit

A great tip for navigating the coffee shop menu without going overboard is by going back to the basics. Opt for plain coffee or tea, or a plain latte with skim milk, the simpler the better.

Many coffee shops offer a variety of pastries, muffins, sandwiches, and cookies. If you’re looking for the healthiest option, stick with whole fruit, low-fat yogurt, a low-fat cheese stick, or nuts. Many shops now display nutrition information for their selections, so make sure to review this prior to selecting your snack.
Check out the tips below for additional ideas on how to have a healthier trip to the coffee shop.

Tips for a healthier coffee shop trip:

  • Skip the whipped cream. This can add 50-100 calories to your beverage.
  • Beware of smoothies. These could be made with sweetened fruit purees, ice cream, containing very little fiber and are high in calories.
  • Choose your treat wisely. The snacks that tend to be highest in calories are croissants, scones, and breads/muffins. Choose a marshmallow bar, or a mini treat like a cake pop instead.

Sources: Lifework Strategies, Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.