This time of year, everyone has apples on the brain. These crisp and juicy gems taste especially sweet right now, whether raw, baked, slathered in peanut butter… or even drenched in caramel. Caramel apples are as ubiquitous to fall as the changing leaves, and companies have capitalized on their popularity by injecting that sweet-tart flavor into everything from candy to hot drinks. Take Starbucks' Caramel Apple Spice drink, which is made with fresh apple juice, cinnamon syrup, and a caramel drizzle. It certainly sounds as delicious as a real caramel apple, but how do these two treats compare nutritionally? Which is the slimmer autumn pick: A grande Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice drink (with no whipped cream), or a classic caramel apple with nuts?
The Winner: Caramel Apple with Nuts!One gooey caramel apple with nuts will set you back 280 calories, 13 grams of fat (mostly from the nuts), and 24 grams of sugar. A grande Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice also contains 280 calories. Though the drink contains 0 grams of fat without the whipped cream, it packs a whopping 65 grams of sugar. That's over 16 teaspoons of sugar! The caramel apple with nuts also contains fiber from the apple (4 grams) and protein from the nuts (6 grams), while the drink has 0 grams of both protein and fiber. If you must satisfy your sweet tooth with a caramel apple, pick a small one with minimal toppings. You could also cut it in half to save part of it for later, or just have one or two slices and share the rest of it with friends. When indulging in a caramel apple drink, choose the smallest size, and ask if there are sugar-free syrups available.
What's your favorite way to enjoy apples?