NBC Names the Top 5 Worst Coffee Drinks in America

Starbucks Venti
Starbucks Venti – image copyright joshduffyphoto via Flickr.com

Is your favorite coffee drink flooding your body with the equivalent calories of a full meal? If you drink one of those frozen coffee drinks with whipped cream, syrup and other goodies, it shouldn’t come as any surprise. With 75% of Americans drinking at least one cup of coffee a day, and a fair percentage of those drinking the syrupy concoctions that pass for coffee at Starbucks, McDonalds and other popular coffee shops, is it any wonder that coffee is making it into the list of no-no’s for dieters?

It’s also no wonder that the health-conscious anchors of NBC’s Today show decided to pick on coffee drinks as being among those fattening treats that we need to avoid. First, let me go on record as stating that coffee is not the problem in these drinks. If people were drinking unadulterated coffee – or even coffee with milk and one lump or two – coffee wouldn’t come under this kind of microscope. That’s borne out by the Today show’s list of the worst five coffee drinks in America. Just take a look at the drinks that they chose and the ingredients that go into them.

Worst Hot Coffee Drink – Starbucks Venti White Chocolate Mocha

With 580 calories and 22 grams of fat (15 of them saturated), this coffee drink is about the equivalent of drinking a Big Mac. It’s also loaded with about as much sugar as you’ll find in a half dozen donuts. What do you drink instead of a Venti White Chocolate Mocha? Today suggests a Venti Caffee Misto with a squirt of caramel sauce for 130 calories. I’d suggest a double shot latte with skim milk and Equal.


Worst Frozen Coffee Drink – Dunkin Donuts Frozen Cappuccino with whole milk

Yep, Dunkins made the list of baddies, too. The Frozen Cappuccino with whole milk packs a whopping 610 calories, including 8 grams of fat, 123 grams of carbs and as much sugar as you’ll find in four Twinkies. What to drink instead? Today suggests swapping out your large Frozen Cappuccino for a medium Coffee Coolatta with skim milk. I say skip the Coolatta and grab yourself an extra large Dunkin Iced Coffee with cream and one sugar to cut out about 550 calories.

Worst Coffee on the Go – McDonalds’ large mocha coffee

McDonald’s mocha is not much more than a cup of hot chocolate with an added shot of espresso – and a lot of sugar and cream. Add whipped cream and sprinkles and you’re really packing in the calories – about 400 of them, including 8 grams of saturated fat and .5 grams of trans fat. What to drink at Mickey D’s? Today suggests a large cappuccino at 180 calories. That’s pretty outrageous still – skip the McCafe menu and order a Newman’s Own Organics coffee the way you like it. If you MUST go for the sugary treat, ask the counter girl for a dollop of soft serve vanilla ice cream and stir it in. You’ll still be better off.

Worst Coffee Substitute – Rock Star Energy Drink

Caffeine and sugar-laden, the original Rock Star will give you a kick with about 280 calories – probably more than you budgeted for breakfast or lunch. I figure if you’re going for caffeine, why not just drink the coffee and save the calories?