Thu, May 3, 2012 – by Jessica Reinhart

How To Save Money On: Designer Coffee—Try Fast Food

Lattes from a (gasp!) fast food joint? Before your turn up your nose at the thought, consider that a "Consumer Reports" taste test found that McDonald’s coffee outperformed Starbucks in both taste and value. An increasing number of fast food restaurants are joining in on the coffee craze, highlighting java drinks right alongside other beverage choices. And we’re not just talking about your average cup of piping hot black coffee in a Styrofoam cup. No siree, specialty coffee drinks – from lattes to cappuccinos to macchiatos - can be had at many fast food establishments across the U.S.

But don’t be fooled. As with anything else on a fast food menu there are healthy options and not-so-healthy options to choose from. And although ordering a cup of java with skim milk and no calorie sweetener is one healthful option, it lacks a certain pizzazz we’ve come to know and love from some of the trendier coffee shops (White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino, anyone?).

If you’re a caffeine junky looking for a healthy fix then look no further. We’re here to help you navigate the coffee menu at each of the big fast food spots so you can find healthy options and get on with your day.

McDonalds Healthy Java Fix: Nonfat Cappuccino with Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
Size: Medium (16 fl oz)
How does it stack up? Fat: 0g; Calories: 70; Carbohydrates: 19g

Jack In The Box Healthy Java Fix: Caramel Iced Latte
Size: Medium (16 fl oz)
How does it stack up? Fat: 1.5g; Calories: 90; Carbohydrates: 17g

Dunkin Donuts Healthy Java Fix: Latte Lite
Size: Medium (16 fl oz)
How does it stack up? Fat: 0; Calories: 120; Carbohydrates: 19g