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4 Nutrition Hacks to Make Your Starbucks Order Healthier

Credit: Bloomberg / Contributor / Getty

Easy tweaks you can make to your daily coffee order to help save calories, sugar, and more.

It’s no joke that Starbucks’ Smoked Butterscotch Frappuccino is a nutritional train wreck. In response to our shocking findings, we’re shedding light on a more positive side of the coffeehouse—that is, its menu’s reputation for endless customization. In fact, the company has claimed to offer over 87,000 possible drink combinations, most of which require a little creativity and some serious inside knowledge to order. (Ever heard of a Tall, Half-Caff, Soy Latte At 120 Degrees?)

With Starbucks’ expansive menu comes plenty of simple ways to save big on calories, fat, and excess sugar. We’ve pulled together four clever menu hacks and easy tweaks to help you make a smart, well-informed choice.

1. Code word: “skinny.” Order your drink “skinny,” and your barista knows to hold the whipped cream and use sugar-free syrup and non-fat milk. If anything, it’s a surefire way to slash calories, fat, and sugar from virtually any drink on Starbucks’ menu.

Photo: Elizabeth Laseter

2. Jazz up your drink with coffee toppers. Unbeknownst to many, Starbucks’ milk and cream station also stocks cocoa powder, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, and vanilla powder. Try a few shakes for an instant (and free!) flavor boost to a plain coffee, Americano, or tea.

3. Enjoy your coffee, French Press-style. The off-menu French press option is a brilliant solution if you’re planning to hang around, either by yourself or with friends. The coffee is freshly brewed, and the French press technique gives it a fuller, more complex flavor than regular drip coffee.

4. Downsize to “short.” While not always advertised, any hot drink can be ordered in an 8 ounce “short” size. This is a great way to enjoy the drinks you love (yes, we mean that spiced, fall-flavored drink with a cult following) while regulating portion size and slashing calories, fat, and sugar.

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