Nutrition Facts: The Best and Worst Seasonal Hot Drinks at Wawa
‘Tis the season for escaping the cold by ducking into a coffee shop and ordering a piping hot cup of peppermint hot chocolate with extra whip and sprinkles. Or, in the case of many Philadelphians, ducking into a Wawa and doing just the same.
While I’m not here to needlessly rag on Philly’s most ubiquitous and beloved convenience-store chain (we did find lots of healthy stuff there, ya know), I’m betting that a lot of you have wondered, even once for a split second, just how many calories are in your favorite seasonal Wawa latte or hot cocoa drink. So in the name of fact-finding, we compared them side by side—looking only at stats for 12-ounce drinks, to keep it fair—to help you find the best choices and avoid the pitfalls.
Here’s to smarter holiday sipping.
Best Bets: Wawa’s Lower-Calorie Seasonal Drinks
12 ounces with 2% milk
I know, I know: There’s nothing particularly special or festive about a plain ol’ cappuccino. But if you’re trying to lighten your calorie load, this is hands-down the best of the best bets. With just 100 calories, 4 fat grams and 10 grams of carbohydrates, you might even have room left over for a donut. (Just don’t go too nuts: An old-fashioned donut is your lightest choice, at 250 calories.)
Caramel or Mocha Macchiato
12 ounces with 2% milk, caramel or mocha sauce, and vanilla syrup
Of the fancier drinks on the menu, this is a solid choice, since it requires no special-order modifications from what’s offered standard. Whichever flavor you go with, you’re looking at 160 calories, 4 fat grams, and 24 grams of carbs. Done and done.
12 ounces with 2% milk and chocolate sauce
Even with the chocolate sauce drizzle, this drink clocks in well under many of the others at 200 calories, 5 fat grams and 33 grams of carbs (yes, that’s a lot, but we’re choosing our battles here). Switch to skim milk and you’ll save 40 calories.
White Chocolate Hot Chocolate
12 ounces with skim milk and white chocolate sauce
First thing’s first: Make sure you specify that you want skim milk instead of the standard whole milk. That swap will drop you from 370 calories down to 300, and put you at just 1 fat gram and 60 grams of carbs. Of course, regular hot chocolate is the best cocoa choice of all: With skim milk and the standard chocolate-chip topping, a 12-ouncer has 290 calories, 13 fat grams and 42 grams of sugar. Or, opt for whole milk (gasp!) but cut out the chips, and you’re at a respectable 150 calories, 8 fat grams and 12 grams of carbs.
Worst Offenders: Wawa’s Higher-Calorie Seasonal Drinks
Dulce De Leche Latte
12 ounces with 2% milk, caramel sauce, vanilla syrup and whipped cream
You’ll set yourself back 370 calories, 11 fat grams, and 62 grams of carbs. The bad news? Cutting back to skim milk only saves you a measly 10 calories.
Pumpkin White Chocolate Hot Chocolate
12 ounces with whole milk, pumpkin sauce and white chocolate sauce
There’s a lot going on here, and it shows. The nutrition facts look thusly: 480 calories, 9 fat grams, and 86 grams of carbohydrates. And once again, opting for skim milk still doesn’t get you far enough; you’re still over the 400-calorie mark.
Caramel Hot Chocolate
12 ounces with whole milk, caramel sauce and chocolate chips
Ready for this one? This drink pushes right up against the 500-calorie mark, at 490 calories, 24 fat grams (including 16 grams of saturated fat!), and 66 grams of carbohydrates. On the bright side: You get 30 percent of your daily calcium needs …
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