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How to lighten up your seasonal beverage

Cappuccino with chocolate and cinnamon sticks

The holidays are here! How do I know this? Starbucks is serving their drinks in their red cups that’s how. But what lurks inside those red cups?  Mine has coffee, but most people who go to Starbucks aren’t traditionalists like me. Especially this time of year . . . and for good reason!

Pumpkin lattes, apple cider and peppermint hot chocolate are big hits this time of year.  While these seasonal drinks are delicious, they are also loaded with calories, fat and more sugar than a candy bar.  To help you make healthier choices, here’s a nutritional information roundup of your favorite drinks.

Starbucks Grande Caramel Apple Spice With Whipped Cream     

Calories: 360
Fat: 8 g
Saturated Fat: 4.5 g
Cholesterol: 30 mg
Sugars: 68 g
Sodium: 0 mg

You can easily decrease the fat by eliminating the whipped cream, but be aware that even if that were to come off, there would still be 65 grams of sugar in the drink.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte                                                                                                                        

Calories: 380
Fat: 13 g
Saturated Fat: 8 g
Cholesterol: 50 mg
Sugars: 49 g
Sodium: 0 mg
Protein: 14 g

The eight grams of saturated fat in this drink is almost half of your recommended daily value. Ask for a skim latte and save yourself four grams of saturated fat and 50 calories.

Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Calories: 440
Fat: 16 g
Saturated Fat: 9 g
Cholesterol: 50 mg
Sugars: 61 g
Sodium: 0 mg
Protein: 13 g

Order with skim milk and save yourself 50 calories and three grams of saturated fat. Take off the whipped cream and you’ll be saving yourself almost eight grams of saturated fat.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate    

Calories: 450
Fat: 16 g
Saturated Fat: 10 g
Cholesterol: 50 mg
Sugars: 62 g
Sodium: 290 mg
Protein: 13 g

Starbuck’s newest offering in their hot chocolate lineup sounds delicious with mocha and caramel sauce and a mixture of tirbinado sugar and sea salt, but you know that taste isn’t going to come without  a cost to your waistline. Order with skim milk and decline the whipped cream to save yourself 15 grams of saturated fat.

The easiest way to enjoy your indulgence is to treat it for what exactly what it is, an indulgence. As tempting as it may be, don’t order one of these drinks every time you go to Starbucks. Sure, they’re only there for a limited time, but they’ll be back next year. One on the weekend isn’t going to destroy your diet. So enjoy!

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing