Coffee drinks and blended fruit smoothies sound innocent enough, but the calories in some of your favorite coffee-shop or smoothie-stand items may surprise you. Check the Web site or in-store nutrition information of your favorite coffee or smoothie shop to find out how many calories are in different menu items. And when a smoothie or coffee craving kicks in, here are some tips to help minimize the caloric damage:
- Request that your drink be made with fat-free or low-fat milk instead of whole milk
- Order the smallest size available.
- Forgo the extra flavoring. The flavored syrups used in coffee shops, such as vanilla or hazelnut, are sweetened with sugar and will add calories to your drink.
- Skip the whip. The whipped cream on top of coffee drinks adds calories and fat.
- Get back to basics. Order a plain cup of coffee with fat-free milk and artificial sweetener, or drink it black.
- Many coffee shops offer a good variety of teas, green tea included, which can offer a nice taste and still be a healthy choice.
At the smoothie stand:
- Order a child’s size if available.
- Ask to see the nutrition information for each type of smoothie, and pick the smoothie with the fewest calories.
- Hold the sugar. Many smoothies contain added sugar in addition to the sugar naturally in fruit, juice, or yogurt. Ask that your smoothie be prepared without added sugar: the fruit is naturally sweet.