The 9 Healthiest Coffee Drinks and Smoothies


By: , – Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer
  :  114 comments   :  489,941 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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  • 114
    love frappachinps - 4/21/2017   7:37:10 PM
  • 113
    Not a big smoothie or iced coffee consumer. Drink coffee with sugar free syrups and tea. Nice to know though how others like these items. - 4/6/2017   3:57:51 PM
  • 112
    Here's a great (and original) WW coffee drink recipe. 8 oz of skim milk, 1 tbsp of instant coffee, artificial sweetner if you like sweet (I do not) and a tsp of vanilla. Put in a blender - add ice and let 'er rip. It's better than any of the others and for the cost of 2 you can have a month of treats. When I go to a coffee house it's plain coffee without flavoring, milk or sugar. If you love coffee - drink coffee. It's clear with some of these drinks that people just don't want to drink the real thing. - 1/4/2017   10:57:20 PM
  • 111
    I just discovered the starbucks iced caffe americano. So delicious plain that I just need to add a bit of sweetener and I'm good to go!...oh and just 15 calories for a grande:) - 12/30/2016   11:01:36 AM
  • 110
    This article really helped me to think about my own coffee w/cream. I don't really buy coffee's anymore but I think I can do better. Honestly, I think I'm ready to drink 1 or 2 less cups a day and replace it with some real food! - 7/17/2016   10:42:48 PM
  • 109
    I can't have artificial sweeteners, so most of these are a no go. At home, I'll drink coffee with flavored creamer. At work, I do splurge and get a white chocolate mocha with whip before work - sometimes with an extra shot. When you work 12 hour nights, I need all the help I can get! - 7/17/2016   4:18:24 AM
    I think the term "healthy" is being used very loosely here.
    Artificial sweeteners have shown to have very negative effects on health AS WELL AS hindering weight loss. While these drinks may have fewer calories, there is nothing in them that makes them healthier than their sugar-filled counterpart. - 11/2/2015   10:59:44 AM
  • 107
    My very favorite iced coffee (Low calorie drink) is just that: brewed coffee with lots of ice. Let the coffee cool first--no sugar or cream or anything to add calories. My mom sipped on it all day. I now drink 8 cups of water a day for health but still love iced coffee!!! - 11/1/2015   11:26:21 AM
  • 106
    I make my own coffee drinks 1/2 coffee, 1/2 light vanilla soy milk stick it in the freezer fill the ice starts to form, about 40 min - 11/1/2015   7:58:04 AM
  • BLONDY01
    I don't like that most of these have artificial sweeteners. I get ill from them, so I either have to get real sugar or NO sugar :( I don't eat out much, especially for breakfast, but my go-to is skim milk, dark roast coffee, and a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder. It gives me the caffeine to start the day and keeps me full most of the morning. - 9/26/2015   3:02:00 PM
  • 104
    The healthiest? There is nothing healthy about these things. Low calorie? sure. Healthy? No. They are cheap and fast.

    Go to your local coffee house. Get a handcrafted latte, with the milk stuff of your choice (cow juice, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk). Avoid "sugar free" flavors. Eat/drink real food and coffee. - 9/26/2015   10:23:35 AM
  • 103
    If you want you can add a scoop of chocolate whey protein mix and shake well, you get 100 calories added to your coffee, but you will get your protein. most whey protein has around 26 grams per scoop. - 8/24/2015   7:32:37 PM
  • 102
    My own coffee, ice, sugar free Torani, plus soy or almond milk & blend! Save $4. :-)
    - 5/30/2015   4:43:24 PM
  • 101
    I remember years ago having a caramel macchiato, horrendous! I thought I had sugar shock! I stick with iced coffee or a soy latte for the most part. Everything else is just too sweet~ - 12/1/2014   3:00:48 AM
  • 100
    Make it your breakfast; coffee, skim milk, sugar free flavored creamer. - 11/23/2014   12:02:28 PM
  • 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
    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
    I love the Starbucks grande iced Skinny Vanilla Latte - only 160 calories! - 5/29/2014   11:12:29 AM
    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
    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
    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
    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
    Plain coffee for me. - 4/20/2013   10:45:50 PM

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