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Best Choices : How to Eat Healthy at Starbucks

Posted Aug 14 2012 6:06pm
Worst Choice Vs. Best Choice
I'm starting a new series on Best Choices to make when eating out. It will dive into: what is your best choices to eat at different restaurants, events or even when attending a friends BBQ. Sometimes you can be so hungry and overwhelmed with choices that you just give up/surrender and pick what your nagging candy gremlin in you wants (I've got one who loves to come out while I'm grabbing a water at 7-11!).

So the first place I wanted to touch on is a common daily favourite of many people. Starbucks!

Let me begin by making a comment most will want to debate with me about but this is my opinion and what I have found to be healthy choice for myself. I don't believe milk from a cow is healthy for you. There's alternatives to milk now and they ARE offered at Starbucks, we should all take advantage of this. I'll go into full detail regarding milk and dairy in another post.

Coffee
When ordering coffee try to stick to a water based coffee instead of a half dairy or half soy milk choice. This reduces the amount of calories obtained considerably. Stay away from the artificial sweeteners (you are adding chemicals to your coffee - sound appealing?). Instead use honey. If you have been used to sugar and sweeteners, it won't take you too long to get used to honey.

Americano (made with espresso & water) : 15 calories and 0g of fat
Caffe Latte (made with soy milk): 150 calories and 5g of fat
Mocha (made with soy milk) : 230 calories and 7g of fat

Smoothies should be used only when you are in need of a meal replacement and have no other choice. I do enjoy the chocolate banana one but it packs 300 calories and has 55g of carbohydrates in which 34 grams is sugar! It may be partially from fruit but that is still a lot of sugar.

Iced Coffee:
Always best to order a straight iced coffee (brewed or americano) and then add some soy milk and honey to taste. If you are in dire need of that blended drink, it's best to go with a light frapp.
Beware: even though it's only 140 calories it still contains 29 grams of sugar and sweeteners.


Food
If it looks like dessert - it is dessert! Those little treats staring at your soul while you stand in line are evil! lol
There's a reason the display case for the food is smack dab in your face, to make you stare at them while you wait and in the mean time you convince yourself "it won't be that bad". On average though, how many times do you really eat dessert during the day? Yes, maybe a birthday at work or special dining out at lunch but not just because you are having a coffee. To give you an example of what you may think is somewhat harmless Reduced Fat Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake: 400 calories, 8 grams of fat and 50 grams of sugar!

Luckily, Starbucks does offer healthy food choices.

Here's a list of my GO-TO FOOD choices:
  • Spinach, Feta & Egg White Wrap (use as a meal) - 290 calories and 10g of fat.
  • KIND Bars - full of protein and low in calories
  • Packages of dried fruit - natural source of calories
  • Greek Yogurt - try to avoid the bottom part (extra sugar there)
  • Fresh Fruit - easy option and natural (of course)
  • Package of dried fruit & nuts - avoid the ones covered in a coating (sugar!)

Hope you enjoy this "Best Choices" series and if you would like suggest a subject for Best Choices, please contact me through email, Facebook or Twitter.

-Michelle


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