Not So Sweet: The Red Cup criminals making the Naughty List this Christmas!

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There’s certain events that happen every year that make you realise Christmas is just around the corner. The Coca-Cola truck has been an iconic Christmas figure for some time and the release of the Christmas ads from John Lewis, M&S and numerous supermarkets have been the pinnacle of the festive period in the last few years.

But one of the first signs of everything getting a little bit merry – and one that everyone goes crackers (mind the pun) for, is the Christmas drinks menus.

This week, we’ve seen the release of Starbucks, Costa coffee and Caffe Nero’s festive favourites with the return of the beloved gingerbread lattes along with new sweet concoctions including the billionaire’s range from Costa.

But while we swap our morning caffeine fix for its festive counterpart with a little added sparkle, are we really aware of everything that goes into our drinks and just how indulgent that one cup is?

With some of these drinks containing nearly twice the advised intake, we’ve pulled together the nutritional data for each menu and asked Dr Dan Robertson, medical officer at Push Doctor to analyse the findings and offer his thoughts.

People usually buy a coffee because it helps wake them up and feel more alert. They’re not drinking it to be healthy, so they don’t think about things like calorie content and sugar levels.” Explains Dr Robertson

“However, they shouldn’t ignore data like this. The NHS recommends we consume no more than 30g of sugar a day. As we can see, most of the coffees in this data contain more than that – and that’s on top of all the other sugars you’ll consume in a day.

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to make your coffee a bit healthier. You could try having more water and less milk, and saying no to extras like sprinkles. Don’t be tempted by the cakes and snacks, either!

Remember that you can always ask for a low-fat or sugar-free option. Most places will provide sugar-free syrups and skimmed milk if requested, but these are unlikely to be provided by default, so it’s up to you to make it happen.

It also depends how regularly you drink these coffees. If it’s every day, you do need to be careful. On the other hand, if you’re just having them in moderation, such as once a week, this is less of a risk to your health. It is the festive season, after all.”

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Drink Calories Fat (g) Sugar (g) Equivalent sugar to no. of Mars bars (23.6g) Equivalent sugar to no. of Nutty Chocolatta Krispy Kreme (16.4g)
Starbucks          
Toffee Nut Latte (Venti) 416 15.9 47.6 2.0 2.9
Toffee Nut Coffee Frappuccino (Grande) 480 16.5 68.1 2.8 4.1
Gingerbread Latte (venti) 412 15.1 48.3 2.0 2.9
Gingerbread Coffee Frappuccino (Grande) 471 15.4 68.4 2.8 4.0
Eggnog Latte (Venti) 450 15.8 56.3 2.3 3.4
Fudge Hot Chocolate (Venti) 414 16.6 53.8 2.2 3.2
Festive Cold Brew (Venti) 41 0.1 9.1 0.3 0.5
Toffee Crunch Frappuccino (Grande) 436 19.9 53.9 2.2 3.2
Costa Coffee          
Billionaire’s Hot Chocolate (Massimo) 660 20.7 78.9 3.3 4.8
Billionaire Latte (Medio) 341 13.2 41.5 1.7 2.5
Black Forest Hot Chocolate (Massimo) 528 16 60.3 2.5 3.6
Billionaire Frostino (Medio) 523 20.9 66.8 2.8 4.0
Gingerbread Latte (Massino) 268 15.1 18.4 0.7 1.1
Honeycombe Latte (Massimo) 392 17.1 44.8 1.8 2.7
Mint Hot Chocolate 556 15.5 68.8 2.9 4.1
Lindt Hot Chocolate (one size 293g) 348 13.8 33.4 1.4 2.0
Black Forest Frostino (medio) 507 20.1 67.7 2.8 4.1
Caffe Nero          
Clementine latte (grande) 204 5.2 28 1.1 1.7
Gingerbread latte (grande) 229 4.5 35.9 1.5 2.1
Roasted hazelnut latte (grande) 235 4.6 37 1.5 2.2
Salted caramel latte (grande) 238 4.6 37.7 1.5 2.2
Gingerbread Hot Chocolate 455 22.4 49.5 2 3
Hazelnut Milano 519 25.6 49.3 2 3
Clementine Milano 500 25.6 44.5 1.8 2.7
Salted caramel hot chocolate 466 22.5 51.6 2.1 3.1
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