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The Best and Worst of Your Favourite Winter Hot Drinks

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The festive season is all about eating nice foods, drinking nice drinks, and then maybe exchanging gifts with friends and family somewhere in-between.

As we all know, our favourite high street coffee shops and restaurants make a killing around this time of year by offering dangerously festive beverages like pumpkin spice lattes which taste too good to be true, and usually are, when you consider how much you get in each cup.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve ranked six of the most popular hot drinks from lowest to highest in terms of their calorie content.

Calories in hot drinks
  1. Caffe Nero Roasted Hazelnut Latte (with semi-skimmed milk) – 148 kcal

The Caffe Nero roasted hazelnut latte is a pretty standard festive beverage and is based around hazelnut syrup.

Calories per serving (regular, semi-skimmed milk): 148 kcal

Sugar per serving (regular, semi-skimmed milk): 23.6g

 

  1. Caffe Nero Roasted Hazelnut Latte (with semi-skimmed milk) – 148 kcal

The Caffe Nero roasted hazelnut latte is a pretty standard festive beverage and is based around hazelnut syrup.

Calories per serving (regular, semi-skimmed milk): 148 kcal

Sugar per serving (regular, semi-skimmed milk): 23.6g

 

  1. Costa Gingerbread Latte – 217 kcal

The Costa gingerbread latte is a latte with gingerbread syrup, whipped cream, berry crumbs on top, and a small gingerbread man (called Charlie) to enjoy.

Calories per serving (medium, skimmed milk): 217 kcal

Sugar per serving (medium, skimmed milk): 15.7g

 

  1. Pret Mint Mocha – 220 kcal

The Pret mint mocha is, in keeping with their famous company ethos, made with organic ingredients including; organic arabica coffee, organic milk, organic chocolate powder, and mint syrup.

Calories per serving: 220 kcal

Sugar per serving: 20.7g

 

  1. Starbucks Gingerbread Latte – 258 kcal

Starbucks, of course, make their own version of a gingerbread latte, with the key ingredients being gingerbread syrup, whipped cream, vanilla syrup and nutmeg. The drink is made using semi-skimmed milk as standard, but other options are available.

Calories per serving (medium, semi-skimmed milk): 258 kcal

Sugar per serving (medium, semi-skimmed milk): 29.8g

 

  1. Starbucks Toffee Nut Latte – 264 kcal

The Starbucks toffee nut latte is a pretty extravagant drink, with its main ingredients being milk, whipped cream, toffee nut syrup, and hazelnuts.

Calories per serving (medium, semi-skimmed milk): 264 kcal

Sugar per serving (medium, semi-skimmed milk): 28.5g

 

  1. Costa Black Forest Hot Chocolate – 393 kcal

Black Forest hot chocolates are a regular Christmas-time staple down at Costa, and they’re easily one of their most popular drinks. The ingredients here are hot chocolate with full or skimmed milk, whipped cream, sour cherry sauce, cherry syrup, and chocolate sprinkles.

These are about as sugary as you’d expect.

Calories per serving (medium, skimmed milk): 393 kcal

Sugar per serving (medium, skimmed milk): 41.5g

 

Advice for healthier alternatives

To a pretty large extent, drinking a hot Christmassy beverage requires you to accept that you’re going to be consuming more sugar in one go than you ideally should. Still, there are a few straightforward guidelines for making the healthiest picks.

  • The bigger and bolder the drink looks, the more sugar it’s likely to contain.
  • It’s always worth asking if the shop you’re in has diet options available.
  • If you're concerned about calories, ordering the drink with skimmed milk will cut out a few of the calories.
  • Smaller serving sizes obviously mean less sugar and calories. Try to avoid ordering a soup-bowl sized cup wherever possible.

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