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The 9 Healthiest Coffee Drinks and Smoothies

By: , – Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer
3/21/2013 6:00 AM   :  99 comments   :  296,845 Views

One of the sneakiest places excess calories hide is in beverages--and two of the biggest culprits are coffee drinks and smoothies. Though coffee itself is calorie-free and smoothies are made with fruit, the extras we add to these beverages can tack on hundreds of calories! Thankfully, there are plenty of better choices out there. Here, we've rounded up the nine healthiest smoothies and coffee drinks!




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In choosing these beverages, we looked at calories, fat and added sugar. We tried to choose beverages with wide availability nationwide, with a variety of hot and cold drinks that are both sweetened and unsweetened. We think you'll find one to suit your preferences!

McDonald's Iced Coffee with Sugar Free French Vanilla Syrup (small)
Coffee drinks don't have to be complicated to be delicious and decadent. Simply add a sugar-free flavored syrup to your usually coffee for a treat!
80 calories
4.5 g fat
1 g sugar
 
Caribou Coffee Northern Lite Latte (small)
It is possible to indulge in a latte for less than 100 calories. Choose skim milk, sugar-free syrup--and hold the whip.
90 calories
0.5 g fat
12 g sugar
 
McDonald's Nonfat Latte with Sugar Free French Vanilla Syrup (small)
Lattes are a safe bet no matter where you go for coffee. Thanks to the milk, you'll also get 9 grams of belly-filling protein!
100 calories
0 g fat
13 g sugar
 
Caribou Coffee Iced Northern Lite Mocha (small)
This cool treat mixes espresso, your choice of chocolate and skim milk. It makes a calorie-conscious snack any time of day.
110 calories
1 g fat
19 g sugar
 
Dunkin Donuts Caramel Iced Coffee (small)
Dunkin Donuts comes in a variety of flavors, and you can get it sweetened or unsweetened. Even with caramel flavoring, this one has no fat--and just 100 delicious calories.  
110 calories
0 g fat
24 g sugar
 
Starbucks Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino Light Blended Beverage (tall)
Frappuccinos are a cross between coffee and a milkshake, and many of them are far too rich for an average day. Opt for the light version, which are made with the natural sugar substitute stevia.
130 calories
0 g fat
29 g sugar
 
Smoothie King Slim-N-Trim Vanilla (Make It Skinny) (20 ounces)
Smoothies are a great way to get in a healthy meal on the go. Unfortunately, many restaurants that specialize in smoothies jack up the calories by adding sugar and high-calorie juice. Opt for the "Slim-N-Trim" varieties at Smoothie King, which are made with banana and a proprietary protein blend.
153 calories
1 g fat
19 g sugar
 
McCafé Strawberry Banana Smoothie
McDonald's added smoothies a couple of years ago, and while they do contain the most sugar out of any on our list, they are low in fat. Unfortunately these smoothies only contain 3 grams of protein, which won't do much to fight hunger.
210 calories
0.5 g fat
44 g sugar
 
Jamba Juice Berry Blend Smoothie (small)
This berry-based smoothie contains both soymilk and protein powder to boost staying power, plus six grams of fiber!  
290 calories
4.5 g fat
37 g sugar
 
What is your favorite coffee drink or smoothie? Did it make our list?
 


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Comments

  • 99
    I hate coffee. Never liked it. I am surprised though to see things from McDonald's on a "healtiest list"! - 6/7/2014   10:10:40 PM
  • 98
    I just like coffee, with one sweetener, and one cream..
    - 6/6/2014   3:00:59 PM
  • 97
    I have done Smoothie King but ask them to leave out the Turbinado (natural sugar). Fruit has enough natural sugar for me. - 6/6/2014   6:49:54 AM
  • 96
    On the rare occasions I go for fast food and order a beverage, it's McDonald's iced coffee no sweetener and no bleach, whitener or cream.
    At StarYuck's where I've been less than a dozen times in my life & always because someone else wanted to go, I get the green tea with lemonade cooler. Just don't understand paying $4 for a drink when I can get a beer at
    Happy Hour for that same money, or a well drink (think Jack Daniel's) at BJ's for $3.75 that comes with a buzz.
    I do make a smoothie in the morning with Secure, fresh or frozen fruit - depends on the time of year - and almond or soy milk. Hold me til lunch so that isn't empty calories. - 6/6/2014   12:05:25 AM
  • 95
    I don't like coffee of any kind. I make my own smoothies mostly using the Trop 50 cal OJ, a scoop of van protein powder & whatever frozen fruit I have. Mango pinapple is my favorite. However, when getting a smoothie out Caravan has a Mango butternut squash that is very good & health. Also, I just had my first Smoothie King experience. The Gladiator with mango & pineapple was very tasty. The portion size is way big! - 6/5/2014   10:32:17 PM
  • 94
    None of my drinks made the list because I do an iced latte with 2% milk as my "treat" coffee drink. Otherwise coffee is black. - 6/5/2014   10:17:04 PM
  • 93
    it took me awhile but I trained myself to like coffee no sugar. I now order a dark roast black coffee. when I get home I add ice and a little bit of almond milk once in a blue moon I add a 10th of a teaspoon of sugar. I save myself hundreds of calories daily. I also drink my tea black - 6/5/2014   5:18:24 PM
  • QUINN00
    92
    artificial sweetners are horrible. One of the first 6000 complaints about NutraSweet was vertigo. After I stopped using it, my problem went away. I had to stop driving. - 6/5/2014   3:22:56 PM
  • 91
    I am not sure even these choices are all that healthy, as they all have so much sugar, even allowing for the natural sugar that occurs. Much better to make your own, make them smaller and eliminate all that extra sugar. - 6/5/2014   2:21:06 PM
  • 90
    Mine is a double espresso, decaf or leaded depending on time of day. Fake sugar of some sort. No calories. Great flavor. - 6/5/2014   10:42:52 AM
  • 89
    When I want to save calories, I make my coffee at home. I use vanilla or chocolate soy milk and a very small amount of raw sugar. I don't do artificial sweeteners - they all leave the same rancid aftertaste in my mouth. If I'm going to indulge in Starbucks, it'll be a Mocha with nonfat milk and no whip. - 6/5/2014   8:39:48 AM
  • 88
    These are horrible graphics. They pretty much all show milk or cream (not counted in the calories) and the portions are HUGE. This article needs to go in the garbage or be completely reworked; it's misleading. - 5/29/2014   4:25:12 PM
  • 87
    I love the Starbucks grande iced Skinny Vanilla Latte - only 160 calories! - 5/29/2014   11:12:29 AM
  • 86
    green tea with a splash of orange juice= about 10 calories, black english breakfast tea with a splash of silk vanilla almond milk=about 15 calories, earl grey tea with a splash of lemonade=about 15 calories - 5/29/2014   10:35:13 AM
  • 85
    All the sugar-free syrups at Starbucks, McDonald's, etc. have SPLENDA in them.
    That stuff gives me painful, horrible, earth-shattering flatulence.

    I'm not anti-artificial sweetener; I figure that since its introduction in 1984, I have consumed approximately 5,128,920 mg of aspartame. (Really; I did the math.) I just can't consume any sucralose, or else I get horrible cramps and noises come out of me that are akin to Cthulhu rising from the depths to assume his rightful position as ruler of the earth.

    Therefore, I hit up the Hess Express, where I can make my own lovely, delicious Dunkin' Donuts iced coffee with skim milk and three packs of Equal. - 5/29/2014   9:06:07 AM
  • 84
    I make iced coffee with one teaspoon of sugar and a flavoured sugar-free creamer. - 5/8/2014   4:31:29 PM
  • 83
    Wow, it's either a ton of sugar or "sugar-free" chemicals. What's wrong with just iced coffee and skim milk... yummy and good calories from milk. Or even a splash of whole milk, creamy and not very high in calories without all the extra sugar. - 5/7/2014   9:26:04 AM
  • 82
    I like to make my own smoothie using fresh berries
    less sugar that way - 5/7/2014   9:01:04 AM
  • 81
    I usually opt for flavored coffees at home with non-sweet almond milk and Stevia (it is natural - I grow the plant!)... :)
    - 5/7/2014   6:39:40 AM
  • 80
    These are supposedly healthy when they have so much sugar?? I don't think so. - 5/6/2014   11:46:24 PM
  • 79
    After reading this my Favorites from Starbucks and McDonalds just went to the bottom of my List. So, need to draw up another. - 5/6/2014   1:19:52 PM
  • 78
    I think 44 grams of sugar is way too much - 5/6/2014   11:14:09 AM
  • 77
    Starbucks skinny sugar free carmel latte only 90 cals and 1 gram fat - 3/5/2014   5:34:52 PM
  • 76
    Starbucks skinny sugar free carmel latte only 90 cals and 1 gram fat - 3/5/2014   5:34:49 PM
  • 75
    Sorry, in my world using chemical versions of sugar is NEVER a healthy alternative, *light* or not.

    And I'm surprised my yogini acquaintance buys in to this...? - 3/5/2014   11:40:44 AM
  • 74
    I looked for a long time before I found Right Size shakes
    1 teas. instant coffee
    1 scoop RSS
    1/4 cup low sodium cottage cheese or Fat Free Milk or non fat Greek yogurt
    5 ice cubes and water
    Nutri Bullet blend!
    Calories 146 ----taste GREAT! plus it's full of vitamins! - 2/8/2014   3:16:48 PM
  • 73
    Great info as I'd like to travel to the States, but being from Canada I've never heard of Jamba Juice or at least not near me, or Smoothie King, and these varieties of McDonald's and Starbuck's things do not sound familiar and I go there all the time. I'll keep this as a motivator in my dream of visiting New York shortly. - 10/3/2013   7:36:19 PM
  • 72
    I have an espresso machine of my own. I make my own lattes with Silk almond milk and I use sugar free syrups. The almond milk I buy is unsweetened and has 30 calories per cup. No calories in the sugar free syrups. Very Yummy and I only use 30 of my calories from my daily calorie count. - 9/2/2013   12:27:39 AM
  • ARIANNAERIN
    71
    Any suggestiongs of places that do "light" AND "non dairy". I find it's hard to find a nice iced coffee drink that you can get in both a light option while still using something like soy milk (or preferablly almond milk). It's frustrating to have to have a heavier drink if I want a treat because I can't have the milk - 5/24/2013   11:11:39 AM
  • ARIANNAERIN
    70
    Any suggestiongs of places that do "light" AND "non dairy". I find it's hard to find a nice iced coffee drink that you can get in both a light option while still using something like soy milk (or preferablly almond milk). It's frustrating to have to have a heavier drink if I want a treat because I can't have the milk - 5/24/2013   11:11:37 AM
  • JGMARIE80
    69
    Drinking black coffee right now. Lots of ice. - 4/30/2013   12:02:06 AM
  • 68
    I'm addicted to soy lattes. They are so comforting for me! But I did not know about the Caffe Misto... I just checked out the Starbucks website and saw that it's equal parts brewed coffee and milk (soy in my case). I am going to have to try that one. :) It's 70 less calories, 1.5g less fat, 10g less carbs, and 7g less sugar than my normal soy latte. - 4/28/2013   7:41:43 AM
  • 67
    I can`t see that any of these coffees are healthy....some have fewer calories, but that does not make them "HEALTHY"
    I drink plain black coffee, made at home - 4/25/2013   10:15:40 AM
  • 66
    coffee with almond milk.... unsweetened.....15 calories or less - 4/25/2013   9:14:27 AM
  • BANNERMAN
    65
    Plain coffee for me. - 4/20/2013   10:45:50 PM
  • 64
    My go to is black coffee. I do on occasion have a "Skinny Latte". My favorite smoothie is homemade: orange juice, ginger ale and frozen pineapple....the best! - 4/14/2013   11:40:50 AM
  • 63
    I don't drink any of these because I can't stand such sweet drinks.If I can buy a skim latte without any sweetener that would be all I could stand :) No surprises though. - 3/25/2013   8:33:07 PM
  • 62
    ooh..my favorite non coffee, homemade smoothie kinda thing...1/3 lite vanilla yogurt, 1/3 cranberry juice, 1/3 orange juice.... - 3/24/2013   6:42:59 PM
  • 61
    cOFFEE mATE fRENCH vANILLA sUGAR fREE...15 CALS A TBL. YESSIREBOB!! - 3/23/2013   3:02:58 PM
  • 60
    Makes me very glad that I just get a small black coffee at McDonald's! Virtually no calories at all! And I think both Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts coffee is the "burned" flavor-- to each her own! - 3/23/2013   1:06:02 PM
  • 59
    I can't afford these, so the only time I get one it is. A freebie.
    However, I put flavored coffee creamer in my coffee. - 3/22/2013   1:14:04 PM
  • 58
    I drink Dunks Iced Coffee Skim Milk. This is really interesting though! - 3/22/2013   11:39:42 AM
  • 57
    Interesting! - 3/22/2013   11:16:51 AM
  • 56
    I drink coffee plain black...no sugar or sweetener of any kind...This really is not coffee ratings, it only is giving cal. content and fat/sugar content...waste of time to even click on this so called article. - 3/22/2013   10:39:50 AM
  • 55
    I too am a little surprised that a coffee article doesn't actually rate COFFEE. LOL

    I do drink a lot of my calories. What's sad is I've given up so much of it to not lose much of anything :i( I think that's why I'm having such a hard hard time giving up the last of it: coffee with my vanilla creamer. (or creamer with a little coffee?)

    Good luck everyone & be nice to someone today! They probably need it. - 3/22/2013   10:01:58 AM
  • BOGDABIRD
    54
    Black coffee is the best ! Sugar free since I was 10, half and half free since I was 18 and black ever since ! and still going strong @ 54 - 3/22/2013   10:00:58 AM
  • 53
    Try just coffee, black with sweetener or honey... much better than adding all that other crap to it. - 3/22/2013   9:56:05 AM
  • 52
    I drink a cup of black coffee. If I'm feeling fancy pants I get flavored coffee.
    I prefer to make green smoothies at home; plain coconut water, unsweetened frozen fruit, leafy greens, maybe some chia seeds and I'm good to go. - 3/22/2013   9:21:09 AM
  • 51
    I quit drinking coffee because I only liked it with a lot of cream. I don't need that cream so I don't drink the coffee. If I could get used to drinking it black, I might enjoy a cup or two a day. As far as the "skinny" drinks with the faux sweeteners, I never ingest faux sweeteners because they make me sick. - 3/22/2013   9:01:01 AM
  • 50
    Plain, black coffee, no cream, no sugar, no whipped stuff, MAYBE a sprinkle of cinnamon - 3/22/2013   8:46:41 AM

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