It’s the season for your favorite inventive coffee drinks, milkshakes, hot chocolates, and any other festive drink you can get your hands on. Sugary syrups with flavors like peppermint, mocha, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice will satisfy your sweet cravings and push you into a sugar coma, but did you know that many of these drinks are also loaded with fat and saturated fat? In fact, there are some popular holiday drinks that contain more fat than a cheeseburger!
Fat gets a bad rap, but there’s a big difference in the types of fat and what they can do for your health. For example, monounsaturated polyunsaturated fats are found in foods such as fish, nuts, seeds, and some vegetable oils. These fats are considered healthy and are known to contribute to a healthy heart and brain.
On the other hand, saturated and trans fats are two types of fats that should be limited. Saturated fats are found in dairy products, fatty cuts of meat and butter, while trans fats are found in fried foods, ultra-processed baked goods and margarine. The American Heart Association recommends keeping the saturated fat content to about 13 grams per day, and many holiday drinks far exceed this limit in just one serving.
Below is a list of five popular party drinks from restaurants you love, which contain more fat (and saturated fat) than a McDonald’s cheeseburger, ranked by fat content. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself once in a while. But if you’re trying to watch your fat content, let’s just say you’re probably better off with a greasy burger.
What they face: The McDonald’s Cheeseburger
Fat per burger: 13g fat, 6g saturated fat
Now, there’s no way you can tell a McDonald’s cheeseburger is a healthy choice. However, some of the holiday drinks on this list have two to three times the fat content of this burger, and read on to see which drink has nearly five times the amount of fat.
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Starbucks Peppermint Mocha, Venti
Fat per drink: 18g fat, 11g saturated fat
At number 5 on our list with the least fat, is the Venti Starbucks Peppermint Mocha. This cozy coffee drink is full of greasy Christmas cheer. Not only does it have 18 grams of fat and 11 grams of saturated fat, but it’s also loaded with 68 grams of added sugar.
Krispy Kreme Frozen Peppermint Mocha Latte, 20 oz
Fats per drink: 23 g fat, 14 g saturated fat
Krispy Kreme is known for its hot, fresh donuts, but it also sells deliciously sugary coffee drinks. And around the holidays, frozen peppermint mocha latte is a popular choice. If you’re looking to track calories from fat, you might want to go with another choice. This frozen drink has 23 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat (that’s double the cheeseburger), 740 calories and a whopping 119 grams of sugar!
As for the nutritional value, you could order a Double cheeseburger from McDonald’s and it would still be less saturated fat and far fewer calories.
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IHOP ginger smoothie
Fat per drink: 38g fat, 23g saturated fat
While we love the creative blend of gingersnap, vanilla, and red currants on the IHOP Gingersnap smoothie, we’re not the biggest fans of the fact that this sweet, festive smoothie has nearly three times the fat content and four times the saturated fat of a McDonald’s cheeseburger.
Not only could you order a cheeseburger or double cheeseburger at McDonald’s and still consume fewer calories from fat, you could also order a quarter pounder with cheese and still consume fewer calories, calories from fat and saturated fat.
Fat per drink: 46g fat, 29g saturated fat
A hot and spiced mocha is a wonderfully festive option for those who like a little kick to their coffee, but this Caribou latte is loaded with calories, fat, and saturated fat. At 850 calories, this spicy mocha contains 46 grams of fat and 29 grams of saturated fat. This amount of saturated fat is nearly five times the amount of what you’d get in a cheeseburger and over double the amount recommended for an entire day.
This Caribou drink has more fat and saturated fat than a cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, quarter pounder with cheese, quarter pounder with bacon, and a Big Mac!
Shake Shack Chocolate Cookie Shake
Fat per drink: 62g fat, 34g saturated fat
And finally, one of the highest-calorie, high-fat Christmas drinks on the market is the Shake Shack Chocolate Milk&Cookies Shake. This smoothie weighs in at 1,100 calories, 102 grams of sugar, 62 grams of fat, and 34 grams of saturated fat. That’s over four times the amount of fat in a cheeseburger and over five times the amount of saturated fat.
This shake also has more calories and saturated fat than the most calorie-dense, saturated fat-dense burger on the McDonald’s menu: The Smoky BLT Quarter Pounder with Cheese, which has 990 calories and 25 grams of saturated fat.
You don’t have to avoid these drinks forever if they bring you a little holiday cheer, but if you plan to indulge this season, it’s important to know what you’re consuming when it comes to the nutritional value of your favorite holiday beverages.