(NaturalNews) Your morning cup of joe at Starbucks may have a higher calorie count and fat percentage than a serving of ice cream or a piece of chocolate cake. NaturalNews looked into the nutritional information on Starbucks' website and found that many of the chain's popular latte drinks have the same dietary impact as the kind of dessert most people avoid for being "too fattening."
Starbucks' Salted Caramel Mocha is described on the company's website as "espresso and steamed milk, blended with mocha sauce and toffee nut flavored syrup. Topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel sauce and a mixture of turbinado sugar and sea salt." One cup of this coffee confection contains 420 calories, 25% of them from fat. Drinking one of these provides your body with 50mg of cholesterol, 290mg of sodium and 26g of sugar. All the steamed milk and whipped cream does give you 35% of the recommended daily allowance of calcium; however the 175mg of caffeine will interfere with your ability to absorb that calcium. The coffee chain's seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte offering contains fewer calories (380) than the caramel late and has a lower sugar content (49g compared to 56g). Since salt isn't part of its name, it has a slightly lower sodium content (220). If you prefer blended coffee drinks, Starbucks' Java Chip Frappacino has 460 calories, 18g of fat, and 260mg of sodium and 66g of sugar.
Compare with solid food desserts
If you consume specialty latte drinks regularly, you should know you are basically drinking the equivalent of one (or more) desserts per day. For comparison, if you decided to get your coffee flavor from a dish of ice cream, a half cup serving of Ben and Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch contains 280 calories, 16g of fat, 60g of cholesterol, 95mg of sodium and 27g of sugar. Eating a piece of pumpkin pie rather than drinking a pumpkin spice flavor latte would, depending on the recipe, give you 323 calories, roughly 15g of fat and 22g of sugar. Chocolate fans may want to consider the relative dietary merits of a piece of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting (235 calories, 11 grams of fat) compared with a chocolate-coffee drink.
If you want a coffee drink treat, rather than a plain cup of coffee or espresso, the best bet on the Starbuck's menu is probably the Skinny Caramel at 140 calories, 1 gram of fat and 11 grams of sugar.
Whatever you choose to consume, eat and drink with awareness. Beverages can often become invisible sources of fat, sugar and calories, as people swallow liquids more unconsciously than they chew food. In one experiment, researchers gave volunteers 450 extra calories at the beginning of the day to see if they compensated by consuming less later in the day. Those given the extra calories in solid food did compensate, however those given the extra calories in liquid form did not.
If you are a Starbucks fan, choose wisely from their menu so that your next coffee break doesn't leave you mysteriously fatigued from sugars and fats. Remember to include your drinkable dessert in balancing your overall food intake for the day.