The cost of a cup of coffee ain’t what it used to be. But diet-wise, a cup of joe will only cost you about 5 calories. That is, until you start adding flavors to it. Then the calories start racking up.
In fact, some fancy coffee drinks amount to the same caloric intake as an entire meal.
The largest size of Starbucks’ Dark Berry Mocha Frappuccino, a limited for summer-time offer, contains a whopping 561 calories. Speaking of whoppers, a flame-broiled Whopper from Burger King isn’t much more at 670 calories.
It’s the sugar, full-fat milk, and cream that make fancy coffees the waist-expanding drinks that they are.
The World Cancer Research Fund decided to publicize the staggering calorie counts in coffee drinks. Why would the World Cancer Research Fund be getting involved in a calories counting expedition? It’s because, after smoking, your weight “is the most important thing you can do to help prevent cancer,” they say.
“The fact that there is an iced coffee on the market with over a quarter of a woman’s daily calorie allowance is alarming,” says Dr. Rachel Thompson, Science Program Manager for the WCRF.
“As a general rule, if you want to have a coffee, go for an unsweetened version with skimmed or semi-skimmed milk as this is likely to contain fewer calories,” says Thompson.
The retort from a Starbucks spokesperson is a classic: the Dark Berry Mocha Frappuccino is only one “of over 87,000 beverage variations.”
Have fun verifying all of those permutations of ingredients.
Need more help enjoying your favorite coffee beverage without the calorie sting? Our dietitian explains How to Choose Healthy Eats and Drinks at a Coffee House.