ID-100202886More than half of all Americans—54 percent to be exact—over the age of 18 drink coffee, according to the National Coffee Association. On average, Americans drink three 9 oz. cups of java every day, usually in the morning.

Studies have reported that coffee may protect against a variety of illnesses and diseases including dementia, type 2 diabetes and different types of cancers. Fitness buffs also claim that a moderate amount of caffeine can enhance performance. But coffee loaded with sweeteners, cream and other tasty add-ons aren’t good for anyone.

Check out the shocking calorie counts for five popular coffee drinks.

330   McDonalds Caramel Latte with Whole Milk (large)

434   Cosi Double Oh! Arctic Mocha (12 oz)

450   Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Gingerbread Latte (large)

520   Starbucks Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino with Whole Milk and Whipped Cream (venti)

1,530   Cold Stone Creamery Lotta Caramel Latte, Gotta Have It Size 

Now take a look at the calorie count of homemade coffee drinks.

20   Coffee with 2 tbsp whole milk

42   Coffee with 2 tbsp half & half

91   Latte (6 oz. whole milk)

**add 16 calories for each tsp of sugar

Tack on the hefty price tag that comes with these drinks ($2-$6), and it’s easy to see your wallet and your waistline are suffering. Save money and calories by making coffee at home. Want to indulge? Follow these tips for a guilt-free cup of coffee anytime.

  • Skip the store-bought coffee creamer and sweetened your coffee with almond or coconut milk. For a truly delectable mug of steaming goodness, stir vanilla, coconut or almond extract into low-fat, almond or soy milk.
  • Add ground cinnamon or nutmeg to coffee before brewing.
  • Use low-fat evaporated milk for added richness.
  • Add chocolate syrup for java mocha.

If you’re out and about, and the aroma wafting out of the local coffeehouse is too tempting to avoid, stick to these calorie and cost saving strategies.

  • Order a small instead of a large
  • Ask for low-fat or skim milk
  • Add a few dashes of cinnamon or nutmeg
  • Skip the whipped topping

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Image courtesy of Amenic191 /