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How to eat healthy at Starbucks

Now that there’s a Starbucks on nearly every corner, or one of their competitors, it’s so easy to stop there for a snack when you’re on the run. In the past, this unfortunately meant getting a drink loaded with empty calories (or else a plain coffee) and a muffin that was brimming over with crap and way more calories than you’d have thought.

Not so anymore.

Starbucks now carries sandwiches, paninis, breakfast wraps,  a delicious fruit and cheese plate and lots of other choices. The sandwiches and wraps are not exactly unprocessed whole foods – at least not the bread part – but thanks to daily deliveries, they do contain a bit less in the way of preservatives than many pre-prepared foods. The fruit and cheese plate is especially impressive in that everything in it except the little piece of specialty bread actually is a whole, unprocessed food. This is really not bad for food on the run!

What if you just want a big, decadent coffee? Are there healthy options there? Absolutely!

  • Skip the whip! Whipped cream adds more than you think. Take the Cinnamon Dolce Creme, which is 470 calories, 24 grams of fat and 46 grams of sugar in Grande size with whipped cream: eliminate the whip and you save 110 calories, 9 grams of fat and 2 grams of sugar.
  • Go skim. Choose nonfat milk in your drink and save another 100 calories, become fat-free and save one more gram of sugar (okay, these are high-sugar no matter what you do, but you can still vastly improve on the same drinks your love with very little adjustment on the part of your tastebuds)
  • Go tall. Do you really need a giant bucket of coffee? Go with the tall size, and trim off another 70 calories and 9 grams of sugar.

Use Starbuck’s online calculator to figure out more options and beverage choices to suit your needs. And consider this: if you drink a Cinammon Dolce Creme 5 days a week, and you make the changes I outlined above, you will save yourself 280 calories a day, 24 grams of fat per day and 12 grams of sugar. Your recommended daily intake of fat is 65 grams overall, and refined sugar comes under your 300 grams of carbs per day (but is the worst form of carb calories). If you do this and make no other changes whatsoever in your lifestyle, think how much that could help with your weight, your blood pressure, your artery health and how you feel every day of your life.