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How to: Build a Better Coffee Drink

by | Apr 26, 2019 | Last updated Feb 15, 2022

Author: Karen Kawolics, MS RD LD, MEd

Is your morning cup of joe or afternoon brew taking up a good chunk of your daily calorie budget?

If you like to order fancy coffee drinks or just add cream, flavored syrup, or sugar to your home brew, it’s easy to drink away 300-400 calories, and most, if not all, of your daily red food calorie budget.  You’ll notice searching the Noom food database that most coffee creamers are categorized as red foods, even those listed as “natural” or made from soy or almond milk. Noom designates red foods as those items which should be consumed in smaller quantities (Click here to learn more about Noom’s color system!). So this begs the question, do you want to use all of those yummy red calories for coffee, or save them for something more substantial?  If the answer is the latter, check out some of these suggestions below and discover how to get the best bang for your calorie budget!

At home try flavoring up your coffee by adding one of these:

  • ½ cup Vanilla Almond Milk, 45 calories, green  
  • ½ cup Almond Dark Chocolate Milk, 61 calories, yellow  
  • ½ cup Chocolate Milk, 1%, 80 calories, yellow
  • ½ cup Steamed Low-fat Milk, 1%, 52 calories, yellow
  • 1 packet of Sugar, 15 calories, red  
  • A dash of cinnamon to your coffee grounds before brewing, 0 calories


  • Skinny Vanilla Latte, grande (16 oz.), 110 calories, green
  • Skinny Mocha with Non-fat Milk, grande, 140 calories, green
  • Skinny Caramel Latte, grande, 120 calories, green
  • Cappuccino with Soy Milk, grande, 120 calories, green
  • Caramel Macchiato with Non-fat milk, grande, 190 calories, yellow
  • Caffe Latte, grande, 190 calories, yellow

Dunkin Donuts:

  • Iced Coffee with Skim Milk, 16 oz., 20 calories, green
  • Iced Coffee with Cream, 16 oz., 70 calories, green
  • Iced Caramel Swirl Latte with Skim Milk, 16 oz., 190 calories, yellow
  • French Vanilla Coffee, extra large, 24 calories, green
  • Cappuccino (no sugar), 10 oz., 80 calories, yellow
  • Creamer, 1 serving, 40 calories, red


  • Iced Coffee, medium (12 oz.), 178 calories, green
  • Iced Coffee with Sugar Free French Vanilla Syrup, large (20 oz), 160 calories, green
  • Cappuccino, large (20 oz.) 118 calories, green
  • Skim Milk Latte, 10 ounces, 110 calories, green