Tis the Season to Stick to your Diet

Starbucks is yet again dazzling us with their seasonal holiday creations. But before you take a sip, how much extra sugar is packed into these?

A grande, or a 16-ounce, drink is used for each seasonal specialty below.

The Drinks

Toasted White Chocolate Mocha

4 pumps Toasted white chocolate mocha sauce

56 Grams of sugar

Peppermint Mocha

4 pumps peppermint, 4 pumps mocha

54 grams of sugar

Caramel Brulée Crème

4 pumps caramel brulée sauce

49 grams of sugar

Hot Chocolate

1 pump vanilla, 4 pumps mocha

43 grams of sugar

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

4 pumps toffee nut, 1 pump vanilla, 4 pumps mocha

65 grams of sugar

White Hot Chocolate

4 pumps white chocolate mocha

55 grams of sugar


On average, one of these things has 54 grams of sugar. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that men not exceed 37.5 grams (150 calories) of sugar and women not exceed 25 grams (100 calories) of sugar per day.

Sugar measured in grams can be abstract if you aren’t used to reading labels. For comparison, you could eat any of the following to get the same amount of sugar:

What you can do

Ideally, you shouldn’t order any of these. To limit sugar it is best to drink your coffee with no added sugar. If you can’t fathom doing that you can use a little bit of honey instead of granulated sugar.

If you don’t want to do that, you can slowly wean yourself off sugar in your coffee. At Starbucks, you can request the exact amount of pumps of flavoring you want. You can even order as little as a 1/2 of a pump. Slowly lowering the number of pumps you have in your drink is a (somewhat) painless way to wean off sugary coffee.

If you are the type of person who looks forward to Starbuck’s holiday drinks all year. I have a solution for you too. Ask for half as many pumps. It’s a little less glamorous. The first few times you’ll notice a taste difference but over time you’ll adapt, I promise!

There are enough tempting sweets during the holiday season. Avoiding drinking this many calories and this much sugar will help you to stick to your diet and prevent some holiday weight gain.

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