Next Time You Order a Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha, Use These Tips to Make It Healthier

POPSUGAR Photography | Mark Popovich
POPSUGAR Photography | Mark Popovich

While the Pumpkin Spice Latte feels like an autumnal rite of passage, the other popular seasonal drink Starbucks offers is the Salted Caramel Mocha. On the website, here's the description: "Mocha sauce and toffeenut syrup are combined with coffee and steamed milk, then topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel drizzle and a blend of turbinado sugar and sea salt." Sounds amazing, right?!

While fall is absolutely all about cool breezes, cozy sweaters, and enjoying all the different colors and flavors of the season, sipping down on a Grande (16 oz.) Salted Caramel Mocha constitutes 470 calories and 59 grams of sugar. We're definitely not saying you shouldn't enjoy this delicious seasonal drink, but if you are looking to make it healthier, here's how to customize your order.

Since specifics about certain parts of the drink aren't listed on the Starbucks website, POPSUGAR spoke directly to a Starbucks employee to get info on calories and sugar content. Here's how you can save on calories:

  • Order a Short (8 oz.) instead of a Grande (16 oz.): reduces by 210 calories
  • Order a Tall (12 oz.) instead of a Grande (16 oz.): reduces by 100 calories
  • Order a Grande (16 oz.) with almond milk instead of two percent milk: reduces by 80 calories
  • Order a Grande (16 oz.) with nonfat milk: reduces by 50 calories
  • Order a Grande (16 oz.) with coconut milk: reduces by 40 calories
  • Order a Grande (16 oz.), skip the whipped cream: reduces by 70 calories
  • Order a Grande (16 oz.) skip the caramel drizzle topping: reduces by 15 calories

If you're concerned about the 59 grams of sugar, you can order your Grande with fewer pumps of the various flavorings. A Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha is made with four pumps of Toffee Nut Syrup and four pumps of Mocha Sauce. The Starbucks employee said one pump is about two-thirds of a tablespoon, and one pump of Toffee Nut Syrup is about 27 calories and has 7 grams of sugar (that's 108 calories and 28 grams of sugar for the four pumps.) One pump of Mocha Sauce isn't as sweet and has 25 calories and 5 grams of sugar (which is 100 calories and 20 grams of sugar for the four pumps). As you can see, over half the calories and sugar comes from the pumps! If you order only two pumps of each, that will reduce the drink by 104 calories and 24 grams of sugar.

One final note for those avoiding dairy: even if you order yours with a nondairy milk like almond or coconut and skip the whipped cream, the caramel sauce is still made with butter, heavy cream, and nonfat dry milk.

This is just a little something to have handy if you want to order a Salted Caramel Mocha at Starbucks but give it a lower-calorie and lower-sugar twist. It's nice to have options that will make this treat a little healthier, but we want to reiterate that there's also nothing wrong with ordering your drink as is and enjoying every delicious sip!