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The Unhealthiest Hot Starbucks Drinks

02/04/2014 11:19 am ET | Updated Apr 06, 2014

Starbucks: There's something hypnotically reassuring about the place -- from the placidly smiling mermaid on the logo to the cute barista who has your order ready by the time you get to the front of the line. But while the coffeehouse chain is famous for its laid-back vibe, you may not feel as relaxed once you learn these unnerving details about the nutritional content of some Starbucks favorites.

We combed through the worst offenders on the menu and rounded up the top eight least healthful drinks you can order from Starbucks. While some of these beverages contain enough sugar to induce a diabetic coma in a Shetland pony, others made our naughty list for more surprising reasons -- like magnificent levels of cholesterol.

  • Caramel Brulee Latte
  • Click Here to see The Complete List of Unhealthiest Hot Starbucks Drinks A cup of coffee is like the Caramel Brulee Latte the same way my apartment is like the palace of Versailles. This prime example of end-of-the-empire decadence jams 580 calories, twenty grams of fat, and eighty-five grams of carbs into its scant twenty ounces. Photo Credit: Starbucks
  • White Hot Chocolate
  • You may as well pour the contents of your local diner’s grease trap directly into your carotid artery. The White Hot Chocolate contains more saturated fat than a six-piece bucket of fried chicken at KFC and about as many calories as a chicken alfredo calzone at the Olive Garden. Photo Credit: © Flickr /joshwept
  • Green Tea Soy Latte
  • Click Here to see The Complete List of Unhealthiest Hot Starbucks Drinks This drink’s nutritional information is a nice little kick in the derrière for anyone who ever thought the words “green tea” and “soy” equated “healthful.” Surprise! Photo Credit: © Flickr /tulip or turnip
  • Caramel Apple Spice Drink
  • This item, billed as a “kid’s drink,” is basically a gigantic glass of simple syrup: it contains no nutritional benefits and the same amount of sugar as five Hostess Twinkies. Your teeth would prefer you slept with a retainer made out of Twizzlers. Photo Credit: Starbucks
  • Eggnog Latte
  • Click Here to see The Complete List of Unhealthiest Hot Starbucks Drinks Even without a whipped cream topping, this drink still has more cholesterol than a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder Bacon and Cheese with a Big Mac stacked on top as garnish. That image, however, doesn’t even begin to illustrate the amount of sugar and carbs in the Eggnog Latte: this drink is so far off the charts nutritionally that if you wanted to recreate it in the form of a solid, you would have to eat a white bread sandwich slathered in bacon grease and chocolate syrup, stuffed with a cronut, and topped with a dozen crushed Dum Dum pops. Now imagine putting that mess in a blender, and slurping it up through a dark green straw. But, uh, it handles 70% of your recommended daily allowance of calcium? Photo Credit: Starbucks

While we didn't rank items on the super popular, not-so-underground secret menu, it should come as no surprise that drinks like the Cinnamon Bun Hot Chocolate, Caramel Snickerdoodle Macchiato, and Hot Butterbeer Latte -- all available at any Starbucks location with a wink and a nod to your favorite barista -- are all chart-toppingly caloric and blended with half a dozen super sugary syrups.

So how do you know what's safe to order? There are a few easy ways to avoid sipping enough calories to please a hummingbird on a sugar bender: For starters, steer clear of items that leap out as especially decadent. If the term "Caramel Brûlée" is in the name, you know you're not doing your waistline any favors. If you sometimes indulge in these little luxuries, however, you may not be prepared for exactly how badly they stack up nutritionally when we compare them to a Snickers bar -- or even a bacon cheeseburger!

Worse still, some of the most innocent-seeming beverages were actually crammed with truly astonishing levels of carbs. Prepare for some troubling surprises: One of our biggest offenders, known as an antioxidant booster, seems like an especially healthful choice -- until you look a little closer.

Take a look at our slideshow to find out some surprising details that might make you reconsider your next drink order.

We based all of our comparisons on the venti size with whole milk, unless otherwise specified.

-Jess Novak, The Daily Meal

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