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Coffee House Hints continued...

Add the word "mocha," or "caramel" to coffee, or the word "chai" or "tazo" to tea and it's a whole different ball game. When we dress up coffee, we can easily go from zero calories and zero grams of fat to around 250-500 calories and around 4-18 grams of fat.

To survive the coffeehouse without breaking your calorie bank account, follow these three general rules:

1. Skip the whipped cream. Say "yes" to "whip," and you've just bought yourself 130 calories and 12 grams of fat (8 grams of saturated fat and 50 mg cholesterol). I love whipping cream just as much as the next girl, so when I feel like adding it to my drink, I ask for "light whip" (I've found that a little goes a long way). But most of the time I just skip it, because what I am most looking forward to is the coffee flavor of the drink.

2. Nonfat milk is the milk of choice. Asking for nonfat milk in your coffee drinks helps bring down the calories and fat while boosting the protein and calcium. Example: A "tall" Iced Caffe Mocha from Starbucks with nonfat milk has 130 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. The same drink made with whole milk has 170 calories and 6 grams fat.

3. When choosing a coffee with calories, order the smallest size available. Example: A "tall" Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino (no whip and with nonfat milk) has 210 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. A "Venti" size of the same drink totals 390 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.

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