Is there a sugar free Peppermint Mocha?

The short answer is yes, there are sugar free options for the peppermint mocha drink at coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin’. Most major coffee shops offer sugar free syrups and sugar substitutes that allow customers to customize their peppermint mocha drink to be low sugar or sugar free.

What is a Peppermint Mocha?

A peppermint mocha is a popular holiday coffee drink that combines the flavors of chocolate and mint. It is made by mixing espresso or coffee with steamed milk and combining it with chocolate and peppermint syrups. The result is a delicious mocha flavored drink with a refreshing minty taste.

The typical peppermint mocha recipe calls for 1-2 shots of espresso, steamed milk, chocolate syrup, and peppermint syrup. It is often topped with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings or candy cane pieces.

Standard Peppermint Mocha Nutrition Facts

The nutrition facts for a grande (16 oz) Peppermint Mocha at Starbucks are:

  • Calories: 420
  • Total Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 11g
  • Trans Fat: 0.5g
  • Cholesterol: 60mg
  • Sodium: 250mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 60g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1g
  • Sugars: 50g
  • Protein: 13g

As you can see, a regular peppermint mocha is high in calories, fat, and sugar due to the chocolate and peppermint syrups and the added whipped cream. A 16 oz drink contains 50g of sugar, which is nearly 13 teaspoons worth.

Are There Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha Options?

Yes, many coffee shops will allow you to customize your peppermint mocha to make it sugar free. Here are some tips for ordering a sugar free peppermint mocha:

Use Sugar Free Syrups

Most coffee shops like Starbucks and Dunkin’ carry sugar free syrup flavors, including sugar free peppermint and sugar free chocolate. Ask for your mocha to be made with these sugar free syrups instead of the regular, sugar-laden versions.

Request Sugar Free Whipped Cream

The whipped cream topping adds additional sugar to a peppermint mocha. Ask for your drink to be served without whipped cream or ask if they have sugar free whipped cream available.

Use a Sugar Substitute

Opt for a zero calorie sweetener like stevia or Splenda instead of regular sugar. Request your peppermint mocha be made with stevia or your choice of sugar substitute instead of simple syrup.

Ask for Skim or Nonfat Milk

Nonfat or skim milk will have fewer calories and carbohydrates than whole or 2% dairy milk. Ask for your peppermint mocha to be made with skim or nonfat milk.

Order a Smaller Size

Stick to the smallest cup size possible to reduce calories and sugar intake. At Starbucks, opt for a Tall size (12 oz) rather than a Grande or Venti.

Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha Options at Coffee Chains

Starbucks Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha

At Starbucks, order a skinny peppermint mocha made with sugar free mocha sauce, sugar free peppermint syrup, nonfat milk, and no whipped cream. You can ask them to use a sugar substitute like stevia instead of simple syrup as well. Or order an unsweetened iced coffee with a pump of sugar free peppermint and sugar free mocha sauce.

Dunkin’ Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha

Dunkin’ offers sugar free peppermint and caramel swirl syrups. Order an iced or hot coffee with sugar free peppermint and caramel swirl for a lower sugar option. Ask for cream instead of milk and no whipped cream as well.

McCafe Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha

At McDonald’s, order a small McCafe Premium Roast Coffee or Espresso and ask for sugar free peppermint and sugar free chocolate syrups to create a DIY sugar free peppermint mocha. Request sugar free vanilla syrup if they don’t have sugar free chocolate. Add a splash of nonfat milk or heavy cream.

Tim Hortons Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha

Tim Hortons has sugar free peppermint and chocolate syrups. Order a small coffee with 1-2 pumps each of sugar free chocolate and sugar free peppermint syrups. Ask for a splash of cream instead of milk and no whipped cream.

Coffee Bean Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has Peppermint Bark flavoring that’s sugar free. Order an iced coffee with a pump or two of sugar free peppermint bark syrup and soy or almond milk for a lower sugar option.

Caribou Coffee Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha

Caribou Coffee offers sugar free chocolate and sugar free candy cane lane syrups. Order an Americano or iced coffee with 1-2 pumps each of the sugar free chocolate and candy cane syrups. Ask for a splash of nonfat milk and no whipped cream.

Local Coffee Shop Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha

Many local, independent coffee shops will also have sugar free syrup options. Check their menu or ask the barista what sugar free flavors they have to customize a lower sugar peppermint mocha drink.

Make Your Own Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha

You can also easily create a sugar free peppermint mocha at home. Here are some recipes to try:

Skinny Peppermint Mocha Recipe

Brew 8 oz. strong coffee or espresso. Heat 8 oz. nonfat milk on the stovetop or microwave until steaming. Add 1 tbsp sugar free chocolate syrup and 1 tbsp sugar free peppermint syrup to a mug. Pour in the hot coffee and steamed nonfat milk. Stir and top with a dash of cinnamon.

Keto Peppermint Mocha Recipe

Make 8 oz of strong coffee or espresso. Heat 1/4 cup heavy cream or unsweetened coconut milk until hot but not boiling. Add 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tbsp powdered erythritol or monkfruit sweetener, and a few drops of stevia glycerite. Pour coffee and hot cream into a blender, add 1/4 tsp peppermint extract. Blend until foamy and enjoy.

Skinny Iced Peppermint Mocha

Brew 8 oz strong coffee and let chill in fridge. Make “skinny” whipped cream by whipping 1/4 cup chilled nonfat milk for 1-2 mins until foamy. Mix together the chilled coffee, 1 tbsp sugar free chocolate syrup, 1 tbsp sugar free peppermint syrup and a few tbsps of the skinny whipped cream. Pour over ice and enjoy.

Benefits of Ordering a Sugar Free Peppermint Mocha

There are several health benefits to opting for a sugar free peppermint mocha over a full sugar version:

Fewer Calories

A sugar free peppermint mocha has significantly fewer calories than a regular version made with sugary syrups and toppings. You may consume 100 calories or less in a sugar free mocha versus 400-500 calories in a full sugar version.

Less Fat

When you skip the whipped cream and choose nonfat or low fat milk you can greatly reduce the fat content of your mocha. This leads to lower intake of saturated fat and cholesterol.

Fewer Carbs

Removing the sugar laden syrups and sweetened whipped cream also leads to a big reduction in carbohydrates and sugar. This creates a drink that is lower on the glycemic index and less likely to cause blood sugar spikes.

Promotes Dental Health

With little to no real sugar used, a sugar free peppermint mocha is much less likely to contribute to cavities, tooth decay, and erosion of tooth enamel than a full sugar version.

Supports Weight Control

The reduction in calories, fat, carbs, and sugar makes a sugar free peppermint mocha a better option if watching your weight. Less sugar intake helps with controlling hunger and cravings as well.

Improves Energy Levels

Without the added sugars, your energy won’t crash after the initial pep from your mocha. The combination of coffee and lower sugar cocoa can provide sustained energy levels.

Potential Drawbacks of Sugar Free Peppermint Mochas

While sugar free peppermint mochas are lower in calories and carbs than full sugar versions, there are a few potential downsides to be aware of:

Artificial Sweeteners

Most sugar free syrups and sweeteners used are artificial sweeteners like sucralose or aspartame. While regulated as safe, some people prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners when possible.

Gut Health Concerns

Some artificial sweeteners have been linked in studies to negativity impacting gut bacteria diversity and health. More research is still needed.

Unpleasant Aftertaste

Some artificial sweeteners like saccharin are known to leave an unpleasant metallic or bitter aftertaste. Try different sweetener options to find one you enjoy.

Caffeine Content

Sugar free peppermint mochas still contain caffeine from the coffee, espresso, or tea used as a base. Caffeine can cause side effects like jitteriness and sleep issues in sensitive individuals.

Acidic Coffee

Coffee is acidic, so drinking sugar free peppermint mochas regularly could lead to increased acidity and potential dental erosion over time. Consume in moderation.

The Bottom Line

Enjoying an occasional sugar free peppermint mocha can be an ideal way to satisfy your seasonal sweet tooth while avoiding excess calories, carbs, and sugar. Order from your favorite coffee shop with sugar free syrups or make your own skinny version at home.

Be mindful of caffeine consumption and acidity if drinking daily. Overall though, when consumed in moderation, sugar free peppermint mochas can be a tasty lower sugar seasonal treat.

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