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Think Before You Sip Those Refreshing Iced Coffee Drinks

posted: 04/15/15
by: Sarah Fernandez
iced coffee drinks
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Do you really need that whipped cream?
iStock

Today is the first day in the northeast that it really feels like summer might be upon us, and for many people who enjoy coffee these hot days seem like the perfect time to make the switch to iced coffee for the season or at least to pick one up when you're out doing your afternoon errands. And indeed, if you like iced coffee, they are. And if you make your own iced coffee or order it at your local coffee shop just as you would a regular coffee, preferably black, but maybe with a little milk and sugar, swapping out hot coffee for iced coffee doesn't raise any red flags. The problem is that those coffee shops often have more elaborate frozen coffee drinks on their menus that are incredibly tempting, and while you may think you are just having a coffee drink, you might actually be taking in more than half of your day's recommended calorie intake in one big refreshing sip.

Before picking up an iced coffee drink becomes part of your summer routine, here are a few examples of how small changes can make a big difference in your calorie intake (according to the companies' published nutritional information).

1. At Dunkin Donuts a small frozen Coffee Coolatta with no added flavoring and made with skim milk has 210 calories. That's not too bad, but adding mint chocolate chip flavoring brings that calorie count up to 360. And if you upgrade that mint chocolate Coolatta to a large and use cream instead of skim milk, you're looking 1,040 calories. Suddenly that iced coffee drink just became a huge chunk of your calorie intake for the day.

2. A small Starbucks Frappuccino made with skim milk and no whipped cream is only 180 calories, but make that a large and it's 340 calories. Have it made with low fat milk and add the whipped cream and you'll be looking at 480 calories. They do offer a "light" version of the Frappuccino that ranges from a more reasonable 110 to 190 calories.

3. A small McCafe Iced Mocha at McDonald's has 240 calories when ordered with skim milk. That calorie count jumps to 290 when made with whole milk and to 480 when ordered in a size large.

As with everything, it's ok to have higher calorie items in moderation, but if you like to make iced coffee drinks a part of your summer routine, be sure to check out your favorite coffee shop's nutritional information so you won't be wondering why that new swimsuit you worked so hard to look good in isn't fitting quite right come the Fourth of July!