Is your coffee making you fat?

When you wake up in the morning are you reaching for your Mr. Coffee home brew of Joe and some milk or heading out for a blended pumpkin latte?

NBC News reported that it may be your blended coffee drink making you fat without you even realizing it.

According to the National Coffee Association’s 2013 National Coffee Drinking Trends report 83 percent of American adults drink coffee and that’s up 5 percent from the previous year. However, only half are drinking the lower calories brewed coffee – that number is down 7 percent from last year.

From NBC News:

“Instead, 31 percent (about the same as last year) opt for gourmet drinks such as cappuccinos and lattes. Many go even fancier. A 2009 survey of orders in New York City by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found two-thirds of Starbucks customers and a quarter of Dunkin’ Donuts customers picked blended coffee drinks, which use more milk, flavored syrups and whipped cream.

“Those drinks pack a higher calorie count — on average 240 calories, versus 75 for brewed coffee with cream and sugar, said Pat Fiducia, chief executive for CalorieKing Publications, which tracks nutrition information for restaurant items. But many contain even more calories, sugar and fat….”

So what are you actually drinking? Here’s a look at some of the fat and calorie counts from blended coffee favorites according to NBC News:

“Here’s a look at what’s in some popular drinks:

  • Dunkin’ Donuts Frozen Mocha Coffee Coolatta with Cream, 32 ounces: 1,050 calories, 53 grams fat, 127 grams sugar
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Frozen Caramel Coffee Coolatta with Cream, 32 ounces: 1,050 calories, 52 grams fat, 130 grams sugar.
  • Starbucks Iced Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whipped Cream, 20 ounces: 700 calories, 26 grams fat, 101 grams sugar
  • McDonalds Frappe Mocha, 22 ounces: 670 calories, 50 grams fat, 88 grams sugar
  • Seattle’s Best Frozen Caramel Pretzel Mocha, 24 ounces: 640 calories, 22 grams fat, 83 grams sugar
  • Seattle’s Best Frozen Birthday Cake Latte, 24 ounces: 640 calories, 23 grams fat, 87 grams sugar
  • Starbucks Tazo Green Tea Frappuccino Blended Crème with Whipped Cream, 20 ounces: 560 calories, 18 grams fat, 89 grams sugar”

A Starbucks spokesperson says in the NBC story that there are countless options for people to lower calories and fat in their drinks. I agree that is true but you first have to realize how much fat and calories you are getting in the regular version.

I recently switched from skim milk in my coffee to half and half and now I’m worried that’s adding too many calories. It’s usually fat-free half-half but it still tastes so much better than just the milk.  I usually use Truvia in my coffee instead on real sugar. Real sugar and Starbucks coffees are rare treats for me. I do like the Starbucks pumpkin latte packets. Those are my afternoon treat made with skim milk because it caffeinates me and fills me up.

Which are you drinking: the lower-calorie brewed coffee or fancy coffee? Do you know how many calories/fat are in your regular order? Do you try to lower the calories when you order at Starbucks or other places?

22 comments Add your comment

usually lurking

October 4th, 2013
12:17 pm

I have a hard time calling the beverages in that list “coffee”. You don’t have to wonder or worry about the calories and fat if you drink it black.


October 4th, 2013
12:35 pm

I never was much of a fan of creme or milk in coffee, but I always sweetened it. Earlier this year I noticed that we were on our 3rd box of ’sugar in the raw’ at home. That was really only getting used for coffee, and only on the weekends as we drink at our mutual offices during the week. It hit me how much sugar I was ingesting via coffee alone. So I quit cold turkey. Aside from also eliminating sodas from impulse additions to meals out, I went to plain black coffee. You get a little pickier with your coffee when you put nothing into it to mask it’s natural flavors.
And you kind of throw them off a little at Starbucks when you order a plain black coffee, nothing else.


October 4th, 2013
12:43 pm

120 calories and no fat once a week. Skinny caramel latte. Sugar Free syrup and low fat steamed milk. Enjoy your flavored coffee just lighten it up! Rest of the time skim milk in coffee. Usually lurking, they say that coffee leaches the calcium out you should put milk/cream in the coffee.


October 4th, 2013
1:17 pm

Theresa, the other day you were saying your daughter had put on weight. Now you’re worried about your coffee making your fat? Obviously you’re fixated on (your) weight and if you’re not careful, you’ll pass your weight obsession on to your daughter. If you aren’t getting any exercise, you can watch your calorie intake all you want but it won’t make a difference.


October 4th, 2013
1:28 pm

I drink half a pot of coffee a day… I know, it’s not the best vice but it’s not the worst. I use real sugar but not much and have been continually cutting back over the past year with the hope that one I won’t need any one of these days. My husband used to use artificial sweetner but has totally cut it out in the past year. I also use fat-free half-and-half which is probably just as bad since it has corn syrup in it. I don’t drink many sodas though (maybe 3 cans a week total where it used to be 2 a day) and try to stick with water mostly so I do feel like I’m doing better. I rarely order the fru-fru coffee drinks because they’re just so darn expensive not to mention the calories. You might as well drink a milk shake quite frankly. So they’re fine on occasion but certainly they’re not an every-day staple of my diet.


October 4th, 2013
1:37 pm

Artificial sweeteners are scary, especially aspartame. I’ve stopped buying “diet” items that contain any artificial sweeteners because I think the jury is still out on their long-term safety. I’d rather have real sugar, not the high fructose corn syrup crap, but the real stuff like rock sugar which isn’t processed and refined. Sure there are more calories, but they are natural and not made in a lab.


October 4th, 2013
1:58 pm

I doubt it — I am 52 and weigh between 170-175 which is the weight range I’ve had since college. I stop at Starbucks every M-F for my quad Venti Latte with whole milk. To this I then add copius amounts of sugar as I like my coffee drinks really sweet. I have had no appreciable weight gain or loss in decades. So, no, I don’t feel my “coffee” to be making me fat. And I have never once in my life counted calories. Back to an earlier topic, simply burn more calories than your caloric intake.


October 4th, 2013
2:57 pm

@Me – do you work out a lot or just have a high metabolism?


October 4th, 2013
3:23 pm

Truvia & liquid Coffee-Mate fan myself. Coffee ground fresh and brewed in a French press. I end up with about 28 oz of coffee that I put in the Thermos. 3 Truvias and 2 of the Coffee-Mates in the Thermos. Comes to about 30 calories for the whole Thermos.

I’m with you. I try skim milk when I’m at Panera or ABC for breakfast, but it just isn’t the same. Lots of skim milk still doesn’t match a little half & half.


October 4th, 2013
3:39 pm

Actually it isn’t the coffee aming you fat, it’s all the crap you put in it that does the damage. The only thing coffee is a fault for is feeding your caffine addiction.


October 4th, 2013
4:51 pm

Deserts in a cup or adult milkshakes. Enjoy hgh e sugar rush!

Who let the dogs in

October 4th, 2013
5:30 pm

Is your coffee making your fat? WTH does that mean?


October 4th, 2013
10:14 pm

Check the side of your half and half. If you stick with the serving size of a tablespoon, I think you’re adding about 20 calories. Now, if you have ten cups, that’s probably a problem, but one cup a day isn’t if you’re eating a healthy breakfast. I have one cup in the morning with half and half and a teaspoon of honey. I go through Starbucks about once a month as a treat. I think of Starbucks drinks like milkshakes. They definitely aren’t for everyday.

Who let the dogs in

October 4th, 2013
11:21 pm

Why are so many telling this woman about the contents of coffee? It’s not going to change her rhetoric and or behavior. Her routine here is to take an ordinary concept(coffee in the morning) and try to turn it in to an end of the world event.



October 5th, 2013
12:21 am

No, it’s not making me fat but it is making me fart

cool and collected

October 5th, 2013
7:50 am

I always think the Coffee-Mate stuff jacks with my low-carb attempts, but I like the taste of it in my weak, instant coffee morning jolt. I don’t buy, or put, all that other stuff in it.

Oddly when I make it myself, I need two heaping teaspoons of CM, but if I buy black coffee from somewhere, bring it home, I only need 1 tsp of CM. why is that? with MY coffee being so weak, seems it’d be the other way around.

When I use milks in my coffee, I get a yeast-like film on my tongue so I stop using it, but that would give me no carbs.


October 5th, 2013
1:42 pm

Thank God, one thing I don’t have to give up! However, don’t even THINK you can touch my orange juice!

Who let the dogs in

October 5th, 2013
7:14 pm

Why would we want to touch your orange juice?

OMG!!! That bowling ball is my wife!!!!

October 5th, 2013
10:33 pm

There needs to be more meat scented candles.


October 6th, 2013
6:25 am

I drink mine black…good to go!


October 6th, 2013
8:56 am

Making ‘your’ fat? Are there no copy editors at the AJC anymore?

OMG!!! That bowling ball is my wife!!!!

October 6th, 2013
9:03 am

@ abc

Nope. They are self edited. Based on that, I think they pay these people in candy.