The 9 Healthiest Coffee Drinks and Smoothies

By , Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer
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

PROVERBS31JULIA 9/14/2018
August 2018 my Starbucks area recently had a mocha protein drink of some sort, basically it used a syrup but I told barista I didn't want a syrup and she offered stevia - three thing of stevia got it up to a manageable taste. It also used plain coffee instead of expresso, which was the first coffee I'd had since starting on chemo. So I was pleasantly surprised. It's not an every day drink for me, but it helped give me some energy and electrolytes the day I was there shopping at the grocery store where that Starbucks kiosk was located. I will check on the nutrients later. Report
ELRIDDICK 6/14/2018
Thanks for sharing Report
MUSICNUT 5/15/2018
Thanks for the great info :) Report
THICK611 5/6/2018
I'm 100% a Starbucks girl Report
ARMY_MOM17 4/6/2018
... have never had an iced coffee... will try one the next time i order... thanks for the info... Report
GEORGE815 3/17/2018
Not a big iced coffee fan Report
CHERYLHURT 2/8/2018
Good to know Report
JAMER123 1/31/2018
That's loads of sugars. I don't drink any of these and glad not to be hooked on them. My coffee and drinks are no sugars. Report
PAMBROWN62 11/10/2017
I don’t drink these but, if I did, the sugar grams on some of them are atrocious! Report
SKANESSA
I'm with the other black coffee drinkers. About 5 calories, 0 fat, 0 sugar. I can see why not everyone likes it, but for me, the only time I like my coffee sweet and creamy is when it's espresso chip ice cream. Report
AMBER461
Thanks for the information. Report
Thanks for the info. Report
It's not whether you get knocked down, it's whether you get up.
- Vince Lombardi Report
Good to know! Report
Interesting info. Report
How about just plain black coffee? Zero calories, delicious! Report
This makes sense to me. Less sugar, more healthy. Report
The amount of sugar in most of these things is frightening! They brag about being low in fat when sugar is what is killing us all. Report
what's wrong just a plain cup of coffee? If I wanted syrup I would have ordered PANCAKES!! Report
To much sugar! Report
BECCA6779
I just go for a Grande or Tall iced coffee, unsweetened, w/ skim or 2% milk. Report
How interesting that this appears with SparkGuy's info on sugar! Report
I usually only buy regular coffee at Mcdonalds when I go there with with half and half in. It is less calories and cheaper too especially if I ask for the senior coffee. At hone I use creamer in my coffee cannot stand black coffee. Report
Most of these still have way too much sugar. I was surprised to see exactly how much! Report
I appreciate this blog! I now can buy something at McDonalds! Report
BABLOUNT31
We must stay focused Report
I see the sugar content makes this a nono fir some of us I think this is usefull info for someone who wants an occasional treat, or when trapped at a reststop with limited choices. Better than a big ice cream treat. The suggestions here are also helpful. Its up to you - choose what futs your personal plan Report
Sugar content all to high. Makes carbs untenable. Report
LOULOU170970
I like McDonald's Latte with Sugar Free French Vanilla Syrup Report
That small iced coffee with sugar free vanilla syrup sure sounds good right now Report
Agree that there is too much sugar Report
Way to much sugar! Report
love frappachinps Report
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. Report
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. Report
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:) Report
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! Report
LADY_HAVOC
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! Report
LANEBEACHLER
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. Report
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!!! Report
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 Report
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. Report
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. Report
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. Report
My own coffee, ice, sugar free Torani, plus soy or almond milk & blend! Save $4. :-)
Report
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~ Report
Make it your breakfast; coffee, skim milk, sugar free flavored creamer. Report
I hate coffee. Never liked it. I am surprised though to see things from McDonald's on a "healtiest list"! Report
I just like coffee, with one sweetener, and one cream..
Report
I have done Smoothie King but ask them to leave out the Turbinado (natural sugar). Fruit has enough natural sugar for me. Report