Food Showdown: Battle of the Blended Beverages

By , SparkPeople Blogger
As the weather warms up, you might take refuge in smoothie shops and coffee houses to cool down. Starbucks has long been a go-to destination for sippable summertime treats, and the chain has come out with some healthier options in recent years. However, some are better for you than others; many of the frozen drinks that are marketed as ''healthy'' are simply glorified milkshakes, even before the whipped cream and extra syrups.

If you were to grab a frozen drink on a hot summer day, which Starbucks pick would be lowest in calories and sugar: the Grande Green Tea Frappuccino® Blended Crème (no whipped cream), made with sweetened green tea and 2% milk, or the Grande Chocolate Smoothie (no whipped cream), made with rich mocha sauce, banana, and 2% milk?
The Winner: Grande Chocolate Smoothie!

The Grande Chocolate Smoothie wins by a nose in the calorie department at 300 calories, vs. 310 calories for the Grande Green Tea Frappuccino® Blended Crème. The bigger difference is the sugar content: the Grande Chocolate Smoothie contains 34 grams of sugar, compared to 63 grams of sugar in the Green Tea. That's almost double the sugar! However, 34 grams of sugar is still quite a bit of the sweet stuff: about 8.5 teaspoons. You'd be better off making your own smoothie at home using fresh fruit, skim milk, and ice—hold the sugary syrups. If you do find yourself ordering a frozen treat at the Starbucks counter, stick with a Tall Mocha Frappuccino® Lite. It will only set you back 110 calories, and is one of the lowest-sugar options among the blended drinks. Better yet, stick with an unsweetened iced tea—it's calorie-free!

What's your favorite cool-down drink?