Seasonal Drink Hacks: 6 Beverage Orders Made Healthier

Fall is filled with fabulous flavors, many of which are turned into warm, frothy coffee drinks. Pumpkin spice, caramel apple, and cinnamon dolce are just a few of the sensational seasonings used in these amazing autumn beverages. Unfortunately, tasty as they may be, seasonal coffee flavors are often packed with calories, fat, and sugar, and can easily cause you to pack on the pounds if you aren’t careful. Luckily, you can make simple changes to your orders and easily cut down on unwanted and unneeded calories and fat. Ready to order a seasonal drink you can feel good about sipping? Here is how you can create healthier versions of these 6 fall favorites.

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Pumpkin spice latte

Filled with pumpkin spices, cinnamon, and nutmeg, Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte is a fall favorite for many. However, according to its nutrition facts, a 16-ounce drink contains 380 calories, 13 grams of fat, and an alarming 49 grams of sugar. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make this fabulous fall beverage healthier.

Eating Well recommends ordering a 12-ounce drink, rather than 16, asking for nonfat milk, and skipping the whipped cream altogether. These simple swaps create a satisfying seasonal drink that only contains 200 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 37 grams of sugar. If you want to cut back on even more sugar, Eating Well suggests asking your barista to only use half the syrup.

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Pumpkin creme brulee

Dunkin’ Donuts has added a creme brulee element to its pumpkin beverage this fall. Organic Authority says that a medium-sized Pumpkin Creme Brulee beverage contains 350 calories, in addition to 9 grams of fat and 53 grams of sugar. Organic Authority also warns that there is a long list of artificial ingredients — including high fructose corn syrup, mono- and diglycerides, and disodium phosphate — that are dumped into this perfect-tasting pumpkin drink.

There’s not much you can do about the artificial ingredients when you’re ordering out, but you can help eliminate some of the calories, fat, and sugar. According to its nutrition facts, requesting skim milk in your medium drink will reduce its calories to 270 and eliminate all of the fat. If you ask for a small with skim milk, you’re looking at 180 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 36 grams of sugar. Simple swaps can make a huge difference!

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Cinnamon dolce latte

Cinnamon is a sensational fall seasoning that creates a delightful drink to enjoy on a chilly autumn day. A cinnamon dolce latte is a warm, frothy beverage that’s filled with cinnamon, butter, and brown sugar flavors. Unfortunately, this drink won’t seem as comforting once you take a look at its nutrition facts. A 16-ounce cup contains 330 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 40 grams of sugar.

There is an extraordinarily easy way to order a healthier cinnamon dolce latte. Simply order the skinny version of the beverage, Her Campus suggests. A 16-ounce skinny version of the cinnamon drink contains 120 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 16 grams of sugar, according to its nutrition facts. If you opt for a 12-ounce cup instead, you’ll reduce your drink to 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 13 grams of sugar. Remember, always say no to whipped cream!

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Salted caramel mocha

Starbucks’ salted caramel mocha is a blend of espresso, steamed milk, mocha sauce, and toffee nut syrup, which is then topped with whipped cream, caramel sauce, sugar, and sea salt, per Brand Eating. Unfortunately, this rich and creamy beverage can be extremely detrimental to your diet. A 16-ounce cup ordered with whole milk contains 450 calories, 19 grams of fat, and an astounding 56 grams of sugar, according to its nutrition facts.

No Thanks to Cake states that a Salted Caramel Mocha typically comes with three pumps of mocha and three pumps of toffee nut. To drastically cut down on the unwanted fat and calories in this drink, order a 12-ounce cup with nonfat milk and no whipped cream, and ask your barista to only include one pump of the skinny mocha syrup and 2 pumps of the toffee nut syrup. No Thanks to Cake estimates that making these changes can reduce your salted caramel sensation to 160 calories and 1 gram of fat. If you don’t want to adjust the syrup, stick with nonfat milk and no whipped cream. You’ll still reduce your 12-ounce drink to 220 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 40 grams of sugar, according to Starbucks.

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Wild caramel apple

Nothing says fall quite like Caribou Coffee’s wild caramel apple. Caribou Coffee says that a 12-ounce cup of this white chocolate mocha beverage, which is infused with sweet and tart caramel apple syrup, contains 410 calories, 18 grams of fat, and 48 grams of sugar.

However, Caribou Coffee has several recommendations on how to create a healthier drink. First, a nonfat whipped cream is available, which will save you 11 grams of fat and 85 calories. If you ask your barista to hold the whipped cream altogether, you can eliminate 100 calories and 11 grams of fat. Requesting skim milk will shave off 35 calories and five grams of fat for every cup of milk, and asking for sugar-free syrups can save you between 75 and 125 calories. Finally, you can make your drink even healthier by asking for only a half shot of syrup.

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Wild pumpkin

Caribou Coffee brings out the best of fall by infusing white chocolate mocha with perfect pumpkin flavors. Caribou Coffee states that a 12-ounce cup of wild pumpkin contains 410 calories, 18 grams of fat, and 47 grams of sugar, while a wild pumpkin cooler contains 440 calories, 16 grams of fat, and a staggering 66 grams of sugar.

In addition to following Caribou Coffee’s healthy ordering instructions, which include opting for nonfat whipped cream or eliminating it altogether, using sugar-free syrups, and only asking for half shots, you can also ask for soy milk, rather than whole or 2 percent. Caribou Coffee writes that this is a great way to get a hearty dose of calcium while ensuring your fall beverage has important essential vitamins.

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