Blog | Is your Starbucks a high-calorie "bomb"?

9:35 PM, Jun 18, 2013   |    comments
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You can get black coffee from Starbucks and drink a few calories or one of their "frou-frou" drinks and have a caloric meal.

I don't drink coffee but you will see me in Starbucks almost daily getting a mocha frappuccino a "frou-frou" drink. It's what's for breakfast/lunch, considering my working hours.

I have no interest in stoking a Starbucks versus Dunkin' Donuts coffee war here, although I must admit I prefer Krispy Kreme donuts to Dunkin' Donuts. But I was amazed to hear that the difference between the coffees is not so much the price but the taste.

That battle aside, I always knew my Starbucks addiction -- now full-blown since I went cold-turkey on my Mickey D's Sweet Tea addiction in January -- was calorie-laden. But until now, I never wanted to know exactly how many calories I was consuming.

Well, I looked, as the announcement that Starbucks will start posting its calorie counts on its menu boards June 25.

You will see how many calories are in your favorite drinks. For some, it will be sticker shock.

For example, a grande, black Pike Place roast coffee has five calories. A grande Sweetened Iced Coffee with 2 percent milk contains 120 calories. And a grande Skinny Mocha has 140 calories.

A grande Iced Caffe Mocha contains 320 calories and a grande Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino has 400 calories.

And my drink? Just under 500 calories for a venti mocha frappuccino.

Double yikes!

I guess "Americans" are demanding more healthful options, even as they eat out more often. Americans amass about one-third of their calories from eating out -- roughly twice as many as in the 1970s, says Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Now, I am certainly American but when I want to pick up food from a take-out or sit down for a quick meal in a restaurant, I am not looking for healthy but for tasty.

I almost always resist the pastry cases at Starbucks, except once in a very great while I will get a slice of banana/chocolate chip pound cake.

And despite my crazy work schedule, I don't indulge in fast food or take-out as nearly as much as other people I know.

I am also the "Splenda Queen," having given up sugar in my cups of hot tea. But they don't make Starbucks mocha frappuccinos with Splenda.

But for those of us who indulge at Starbucks, we'll just have to drink less if we want to cut back on the calories. I will start with ordering only a grande size on Wednesday.


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