The 9 Healthiest Coffee Drinks and Smoothies


By: , – Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer
  :  118 comments   :  497,548 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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  • 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
  • 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 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 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
    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
    Not a fan of iced coffee because you can do that at home!.....Way to go Smoothie King. SP you haven't rate Robek's Smoothies, they are a little much better and healthier than Smoothie King. - 3/22/2013   7:39:54 AM
  • 48
    I drink it black, nothing else. 0 calories, 0 sugar. - 3/22/2013   7:28:15 AM
  • 47
    I like the visual way these choices are presented, but I don't drink coffee concoctions. - 3/22/2013   7:14:19 AM
  • 46
    I try to never drink my meals! - 3/22/2013   5:40:00 AM
  • 45
    I drink Hills. Brothers Sugar Free Chocolate Mocha Cappuccino. Only 50 calories per 8 oz cup. - 3/22/2013   5:25:09 AM
  • 123ELAINE456

    I like my Coffee Black. Nothing in It. No Calories to Worry About. God Blessings To Everyone. Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care. - 3/22/2013   4:12:19 AM
  • 43
    No coffee is healthy in my book. - 3/22/2013   3:09:24 AM
  • 42
    I don't go out for coffee often. Just good old fashioned peculator coffee at home. My problem is the amount of sugar i use. I was at 4 tsps per cup. I've weaned myself down to 3 in the last month, and i'm aiming for 2 starting in April. Baby steps and i'll make it to reasonable levels. When i DO get coffee it's usually the starbucks pumpkin spice late, and thankfully that's seasonal. - 3/21/2013   11:04:21 PM
  • 41
    I don't go out for coffee often. Just good old fashioned peculator coffee at home. My problem is the amount of sugar i use. I was at 4 tsps per cup. I've weaned myself down to 3 in the last month, and i'm aiming for 2 starting in April. Baby steps and i'll make it to reasonable levels. When i DO get coffee it's usually the starbucks pumpkin spice late, and thankfully that's seasonal. - 3/21/2013   10:41:01 PM
    I love McD's medium non- fat iced latte. - 3/21/2013   8:22:08 PM
  • 39
    I like coffee flavored coffee with a splash of creamer. - 3/21/2013   2:43:46 PM
  • 38
    Just a splash of half & half in my coffee is all i ever want! I spark it :-) - 3/21/2013   1:27:17 PM
  • 37
    I always get non-fat and no sugar please in my coffee. - 3/21/2013   12:26:04 PM
  • 36
    My favorite on the road drink is: Grande Skinny Latte. The Skinny Miso looks low in calories but 10 grams of sugar??? That sounds awful. And I don't go to McD's so that's out. My second favorite is coffee with a little 1% milk. Usually that works if there is no Starbuck's around. - 3/21/2013   11:02:23 AM
    Just for the sake of context, I would have liked to see black coffee (0 calories, 0 carbs, 0 fat) and coffee with one sugar and one cream on there. It also would have been handy to see actual volumes in mL or oz on *all* of them so we could see at a glance that we're actually comparing apples to apples. Dunno about the rest of you, but I don't know off the top of my head how big a Starbucks 'grande' is, or a McDonalds 'medium'. - 3/21/2013   10:19:31 AM
  • 34
    Tracking one one night when traveling, was stunned to find out I had consumed 3,000 calories, mostly on gas station cappuccinos! - 3/21/2013   10:18:16 AM
  • 33
    I always get a non-fat, no-whip mocha, and I accept the empty calories of the real chocolate syrup :) Most of the calories in the drink, however, come from the skim milk, and those are calories I'm happy to consume. - 3/21/2013   10:16:17 AM
  • 32
    Seriously? These drinks are rated for their "healthfulness" based on their calories? Heads up everyone, something can have a LOT of calories and be super healthy (avocados), or have very few calories (those crappy McDonalds drinks) and be frighteningly devoid of nutrition.

    I would rather consume a few more calories and know that the drink I ordered had some nutritional value for my body. - 3/21/2013   9:19:46 AM
  • 31
    Where do Tim Horton's coffee drinks fall in this calorie line-up? - 3/21/2013   8:09:46 AM
  • 30
    WOW! Some coffee drinks really have a lot of calories. Since I don't drink coffee, I didn't realize that. - 3/21/2013   8:02:58 AM
  • 29
    I make a mocha protein shake at home with cold left over coffee, chocolate protein powder, ice, a splash of nonfat milk, and a splenda. It's around 200 calories, but has 20g protein and only 2g fat. - 3/21/2013   7:42:19 AM
  • 28
    I like skinny caramel machiatto, hot in winter or iced in summer, or iced chai latte. Mostly the caramel macchiato is when I'm cold and the iced chai when it is hot and I am out of water or really tired of it and it's too warm. I know they are too many calories for me and the chai is too many carbs, but sometimes I can't resist something. - 2/23/2013   12:17:34 PM
  • JLCAMP09
    I love iced coffee during the summer. Nothing is better on a hot day than an iced cold raspberry mocha. Its been a downfall for me. Gonna try to order the healthier option from now on. - 8/18/2012   11:33:45 AM
  • 26
    I enjoy coffee beverages for an occasional treat. (For coffee, I drink coffee, plain and simple.) But I'm lactose-intolerant, so I go for soy options at Starbucks -- McCafe and Dunkin Donuts don't offer them. I would really appreciate Spark People including the soy milk beverages in these kinds of comparisons. I'd like to know how my drinks stack up too! - 5/19/2012   12:00:34 PM
  • 25
    Great stuff, if only I had a Smoothie King anywhere nearby. If that doesn't work, then look to the Hungry Girl recipe books for some great, easy smoothies that are low in calories. - 12/13/2011   9:14:34 AM
  • 24
    I was actually just poking around the Starbucks website looking for a treat that fits in with my goals and I was surprised at what a difference using non-fat milk can make! My fav is the gingerbread latte, an 80z cup is only 100cal but still a little heavy on the carbs. Good for a once in a while treat though - 11/19/2011   11:57:54 AM
    I make my own latte at home with nonfat with and instant coffee granules and equal. and or a flavored hazelnut sugar free sugar. - 11/18/2011   8:07:15 AM
  • 22
    I love my nonfat, decaf misto with sugar free: vanilla, peppermint, caramel. And of course, I usually get a venti!! - 11/15/2011   9:52:52 PM
  • 21
    Thanks for the blog. I'm trading my skinny cinnamon dolce latte in for a nonfat caffe miso. - 11/15/2011   8:14:09 AM
  • 20
    Great blog and graph. Love it. - 11/15/2011   6:55:12 AM
  • 19
    I learned a while ago to forego these as esentially milkshakes with cafinee. They are a real treat, but once I saw them as what they are, I find there are other treats I'd rather have. Good info to have though. - 11/14/2011   7:12:42 PM

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