Coffee Shop Face-Off: Which is Healthier?
Before you stop for your morning joe, find out how some coffee shop favorites compare.
Latte vs Cappuccino
WINNER: Cappuccino. They deliver the same caffeine jolt (75 milligrams per 12-ounce cup), but a latte has almost double the calories and fat of a cappuccino. The difference is in how they’re made: Lattes are almost entirely milk, while cappuccinos have equal parts milk and steamed foam.
Cream Cheese vs Butter
WINNER: Cream Cheese. Butter contains twice the calories and fat of cream cheese. The only hitch: Café workers tend to be heavy-handed when slathering a bagel with cream cheese. Ask for it on the side so you have better control over the portion—or scrape some off.
Cake Doughnut vs Yeast Doughnut
WINNER: It’s a draw. A cake doughnut seems fattier because it’s denser, but it actually isn’t. Both types are made from the same basic ingredients (flour, sugar, milk, eggs), so they’re similar nutritionally; they just have different leavening agents. The damage really depends on the extras: Adding a glaze or a cream filling tacks on at least 50 calories.
Dark Roast Coffee vs Light Roast Coffee
WINNER: It’s a draw. There’s a common misconception that dark roast is “stronger” and therefore more caffeinated, but light roast actually gives you more of a buzz. Experts are still debating which brew has more antioxidants: Some studies have found that the roasting process for dark coffee boosts its antioxidant count, while others report that greener, lighter beans have more antioxidants.
Regular Blueberry Muffin vs Low-Fat Blueberry Muffin
WINNER: Regular Blueberry Muffin. Low-fat isn’t always better: Reduced-fat muffins do have fewer calories, but not enough to make a substantial difference, plus they typically contain more sodium or sugar. Your best bet: Split a full-fat muffin with a friend and pair it with a nonfat cappuccino.
Food Network Magazine‘s expert: Jaclyn London is a registered dietitian in New York City.