The Holiday Coffee Drinks That Will Help — or Ruin — Your Diet Slideshow

Worst Drink at Starbucks: Eggnog Latte

Jane Bruce

Look, we feel your pain: we know you can’t resist that eggnog-espresso combination, with the steamed milk and ground nutmeg on top. But the Grande size with whole milk has nearly as many calories as a Big Mac (at 550 calories) with 470 calories — and 22 grams of fat. Even the Tall version with nonfat milk has 350 calories and 15 grams of fat. Note to self: Eggnog is the source of trouble this holiday season.

Best Drink at Starbucks: Gingerbread Latte

Despite that gingerbread flavored syrup, even the full-fat, full-whip Grande size of the Ginger Bread Latte (pictured with the Peppermint Mocha and Caramel Brulee Latte) only calculates at 360 calories. (It’s like ordering the grilled chicken sandwich at McDonald’s instead.) Order with nonfat milk and no whip, and a Tall weighs in at only 150 calories with 0 calories from fat and 0 grams of total fat. That’s a Christmas gift to your hips. 

Worst Drink at Dunkin' Donuts: Peppermint Mocha Latte

Jane Bruce

A medium-sized peppermint mocha latte weighs in at 360 calories, with 9 grams of total fat — and that’s not including the added calories of a sweetener. You can cut back, however, if you order a small peppermint mocha coffee with no cream and sugar — that’s a mere 120 calories. 

Best Drink at Dunkin' Donuts: Gingerbread Latte

At 310 calories for a medium-sized drink with whole milk, you’re without the added calories of a Peppermint Mocha. But even then, it still has 9 grams of fat. It’s best to get a small Gingerbread coffee with no sugar and cream; it’s only 90 calories. Moral of the story: Stick to the coffees at Dunkin’ if you want a holiday treat, and skip the lattes. (Like those iced ones next to the Gingerbread Latte.) 

Worst Drink at McDonalds: McCafé Caramel Hot Chocolate (or the McCafé Egg Nog Shake)

 

Yeah, did you really think there was a way to make the Egg Nog Shake healthy? We wish we had magical powers to zap the fat out of your favorite McD’s treat, but no can do: vanilla reduced-fat ice cream, egg nog syrup, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry make that nearly impossible. A medium-sized shake is 680 calories: to put that in perspective, a Quarter Pounder with Cheese is 750 calories — so add on a Kid’s Fries to that shake and you’re about equal to that burger. A small with no whipped cream or cherry is 460 calories, so the equivalent of the Premium Grilled Club Sandwich at McD’s. Of course, a shake isn't really a holiday coffee beverage, but we looked at the holiday coffees, too. The McCafé Caramel Hot Chocolate will still do a number on your waistline: 350 calories for a medium, whole-milk beverage. It's the toppings that really do you in: whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and chocolate caramel syrup. 

Best Drink at McDonald's: McCafé Peppermint Mocha

There is hope after all: the killer drinks at Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are surprisingly better for you than its egg nog shake/ partner-in-crime. A small McCafé Peppermint Mocha is 300 calories — but you should know that includes 12 grams of fat (a cheeseburger at McD's has the same amount of fat.) If you go for a small nonfat peppermint mocha with no whipped cream and no chocolate drizzle, you’ll cut back to 160 calories and only ½ gram of fat.

Best Drink at Caribou Coffee: Fa La Latte

It's saying something when the eggnog-based drink is in fact the drink with the least amount of calories. A medium-sized, with whip, Fa La Latte is still 440 calories with 22 grams of fat, but that's an indulgence we can go for compared to its caramel sisters. Order a small with nonfat whipped cream, and you'll cut nearly 200 calories and 13 grams of fat.

Worst Drink at Caribou Coffee: The Salted Caramel Bundino

Oh goodness: the cutest name for the fattiest drink on our list. If you were to get the whole milk, with whip, medium sized of this drink, you are consuming 850 calories, 56 grams of fat, and 66 grams of sugar. In comparison, you could eat two McDouble's and still come in at less than 800 calories. If you are determined to splurge on this treat, please get a small, skim milk, no-whip version: you'll cash in at 480 calories, but at least that's on its way down from 850.

Worst Drink at Peet’s Coffee and Tea: Eggnog Latte; Best Drink at Peet’s Coffee and Tea: Cinnamon Gingerbread Latte

A medium-sized eggnog latte at Peet’s has a whopping 650 calories, with 29 grams of fat and — get this — 75 grams of sugar. We don’t need to explain this to you. But the cinnamon gingerbread latte, a blend of espresso, steamed milk, gingerbread spice, and ground cinnamon, isn’t as much of a diet-buster. It’s a mere 339 calories and 12 grams of fat for a medium-sized drink with whole milk; if you go for a small with fat-free milk, your drink is only 167 calories with 0 grams of fat. 

Worst Drink at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: Peppermint Vanilla Ice Blended Drink or the Gingerbread Cookie Ice Blended Drink

It’s the same story over and over again: the iced, blended drinks are what will bust your diet, and fast. So Californians, beware of the iced blended drinks on the holiday menu: the Peppermint Vanilla Ice Blended drink has 480 calories, with 10 grams of fat and 81 grams of sugar. Similarly, the Gingerbread Cookie Ice Blended Drink on the menu is close behind: 480 calories, with 9 grams of fat and 91 grams of sugar. Good thing The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf offers no sugar added (NSA) chocolate and vanilla powders to dramatically cut back on the calories, sugar, and fat — a 16-ounce Peppermint Vanilla Ice Blended drink is only 260 calories, with ½ gram of fat and 36 grams of sugar.

 

Best Drink at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: Winter Dream Latte

It should be no surprise that a tea-based drink is the healthiest option; it’s made with the Winter Dream Tea, vanilla powder, and steamed milk. A 16-ounce Winter Dream Tea Latte is 280 calories, with 7 grams of fat and 48 grams of sugar. Coffee lovers, don’t fret: if you’re looking for a cup of coffee, the Gingerbread Cookie Latte is your next best bet: a 16-ounce has 370 calories, with 3.5 grams of fat and 68 grams of sugar.