It’s Christmas! So, you can drink/eat whatever you want under that phrase.
Until you look at the research done by Dieticians at Action on Sugar.
The worst offender was a Venti (large) Starbucks Signature Caramel Hot Chocolate made with oat milk. Topped with whipped cream, it clocked a shocking 93.7g of sugar – the equivalent of 23 teaspoons.
It’s the equivalent of drinking three cans of full-sugar Coca-Cola or four white chocolate and strawberry muffins.
Next up was Caffe Nero’s Grande Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, with skimmed milk.
This delicious drink of dreams contained nearly 15 teaspoons of sugar and 503 calories. The same amount of calories as you’d get in a Big Mac.
The third worst offender was also from Starbucks. Its Venti Gingerbread Latte – again made with oat milk – contained 14 teaspoons of sugar and at 523 calories significantly exceeds the calories in a festive bake from Greggs
“Responsible coffee shops have shown reformulation is possible within this category. For example, Costa have made some significant reductions in sugar since 2016 and some now offer smaller sizes as standard for seasonal drinks.
“Coffee shops and cafes need to take much greater steps to reduce the levels of sugar and portion sizes, promote lower sugar alternatives and stop pushing indulgent extras at the till.”
The extra calories and sugar in festive drinks often come from the flavoured syrups that are added – it’s worth checking with your server whether they have a sugar free version.
What Starbucks say
A spokesperson for Starbucks said: “All our drinks can be customised, such as asking for our smallest size Short; requesting skimmed milk; and less or no whipped cream. To help make it easier for customers to make informed choices, nutritional information is also available in-store, on our mobile app and online.
“We are committed to reducing sugar in all our beverages and since 2015, we’ve delivered a 9% reduction in the sugar content of our Gingerbread and core syrup range of vanilla, caramel and hazelnut.”