If you’re heading to Starbucks for your annual holiday mocha, you may want to think twice. While your expresso with steamed milk, mocha sauce and peppermint flavored syrup may be a nice treat when we’re in the midst of a marathon day of Christmas shopping, it probably has more calories and fat than you think.
Here is what we found out (assuming a grande size made with 2% milk):
Peppermint Mocha: 410 calories, 15 grams of fat and 54 grams of sugar. To be fair, it also has 13 grams of protein and 35% of your daily calcium.
Caramel Brulee Latte: 420 calories, 15 grams of fat and 47 grams of sugar.
Gingerbread Latte: 320 calories, 13 grams of fat and 37 grams of sugar. This one also has 40% of your calcium and 20% of your Vitamin A.
Clearly, the Gingerbread Latte is the best option here. But how about a lower-fat version of these? How much difference does that really make? Well, using nonfat milk brings the Gingerbread Latte down to 270 calories and 7 grams of fat, which is much better. But the Caramel Brulee Latte only went down to 390 calories and 12 grams of fat, and the Peppermint Mocha went down to 370 calories and 10 grams of fat. Sugar content stayed the same.
So yes, it’s worthwhile to ask for the nonfat version, but just be aware that they are still loaded with sugar. In fact, the 54 grams of sugar in the Peppermint Mocha is equal to that found in a King-Size Snickers Bar–and more than twice what the American Heart Association recommends for women each day. Your best bet? A skinny version (which is made with sugar-free ingredients) in a tall or short size. Or better yet, plain coffee.