I will admit that I did not start to like coffee until I was in college (which I attribute to the late nights of studying). But now, I feel like my morning is not complete unless I have my morning latte. I am lucky to have a Caribou Coffee in the Hy-Vee store I work in, which I visit on a regular basis. As I wait for my latte, I often have customers ask me, “Since you’re a dietitian, what coffee do you drink in the morning?” This is an excellent question considering that some coffee beverages will set you back 630 calories (such as a medium Chocolate Chip Frappe from McDonald’s).
My favorite coffee drink is a medium latte with skim milk. I switch up the flavoring a little bit. Caribou has great sugar-free syrup flavor options; sometimes I will get the regular syrup but only half the amount. Here are the nutritional breakdowns of my favorite Caribou Coffee drinks:
- Medium Vanilla Northern Lite Latte: 130 calories, 18 grams of sugar, 14 grams of protein
- Medium Vanilla Latte with ½ the amount of regular syrup: 170 calories, 28 grams of sugar, 14 grams of protein
- Medium Caramel Northern Lite Cooler: 150 calories, 16 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein
Analyzing these options with my nutrition-calculator mind, a medium vanilla Northern Lite Latte is the healthiest option, with only 130 calories, 18 grams of sugar and a good amount of protein (14 grams!). Additional nutritional bonuses the latte provides include the nutrients found in the milk: calcium, vitamin D and potassium. If you cannot drink cow’s milk, soy milk is a great alternative. Enjoy that morning latte and feel good about it!