‘Tis the season for your favorite fancy coffee drinks, milkshakes, hot chocolate, 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 propel you into a sugar coma, but did you know many of these drinks are also loaded with fat and saturated fat as well? In fact, there are some popular holiday drinks that contain more fat than a cheeseburger!
Fat gets a bad rap, but there’s a major difference in the types of fat and what they can do to your health. For example, monounsaturated polyunsaturated fats are found in foods like fish, nuts, seeds, and certain vegetable oils. These fats are considered healthy and are known to help 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 fat is found in dairy, fatty cuts of meat and butter, and trans fats are found in fried foods, ultra-processed baked goods, and margarine. The American Heart Association recommends keeping your 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 holiday drinks from restaurants you love, that have more fat (and saturated fat) than a McDonald’s cheeseburger—ranked by fat content. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself from time to time. But if you’re trying to watch your fat content, let’s just say you’re probably better off with a greasy burger.
Fat per burger: 13 g fat, 6 g saturated fat
Now, there’s no way we are about to say that a McDonald’s cheeseburger is a healthy choice. However, some of the holiday drinks on this list have two or three times the fat content of this burger, and read on to see which drink has almost five times the amount of fat.
Fat per drink: 18g fat, 11g saturated fat
At No. 5 on our list with the least amount of fat, is the Venti Starbucks Peppermint Mocha. This cozy coffee beverage is full of holiday cheer—and fat. 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.
Fat per drink: 23g fat, 14g saturated fat
Krispy Kreme is known for its hot, fresh donuts, but it also sells delicious sugary coffee drinks as well. And around the holidays, the frozen peppermint mocha latte is a popular choice. If you’re trying to reduce your calories from fat, you may want to go with another choice. This frozen drink has 23 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat (which is twice as much as the cheeseburger), 740 calories, and a whopping 119 grams of sugar!
As far as nutritional value goes, you could order a double cheeseburger at McDonald’s and it would still be less saturated fat and much fewer calories.
Fat per drink: 38g fat, 23g saturated fat
While we love the creative blend of gingersnap, vanilla, and red currants on the IHOP Gingersnap Milkshake, we’re not the biggest fans of the fact that this sweet holiday shake is almost three times the fat content and four times the saturated fat as the McDonald’s. cheeseburger.
Not only could you order a cheeseburger or a double cheeseburger at McDonald’s and still consume fewer calories from fat, but 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 spicy mocha is a wonderfully festive option for those who love a bit of a kick with their coffee, but this Caribou latte is loaded with calories, fat, and satiating fat. An 850 calories, this spicy mocha packs 46 grams of fat and 29 grams of saturated fat. This amount of saturated fat is almost five times the amount of what you’d get in a cheeseburger and more than twice as much as the recommended amount for an entire day.
This drink from Caribou has more fat and saturated fat than a cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, quarter pounder with cheese, quarter pounder with bacon, and a Big Mac!
Fat per drink: 62g fat, 34g saturated fat
And lastly, one of the most caloric and fat-heavy holiday drinks on the market is the Shake Shack Chocolate Milk & Cookies Shake. This shake weighs in at 1,100 calories, 102 grams of sugar, 62 grams of fat, and 34 grams of saturated fat. This is more than four times the amount of fat in a cheeseburger and more than five times the amount of saturated fat.
This shake also has more calories and saturated fat than the most caloric, 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 some holiday cheer, but if you are going to indulge this season, it’s important to know what you’re consuming when it comes to the nutritional value of your favorite festive beverages.