29.05.2024

Health warning over Starbucks’ new olive-oil based drinks that can be more calorific than BEER

Starbucks’ new range of olive oil-based coffees can be more calorific than a pint of beer, MailOnline can reveal. Customers at dozens of branches can now treat themselves to any of three ‘Oleato’ offerings, described as ‘velvety smooth’ and ‘deliciously lush’. All are made with oat milk.

However, the creaminess acquired by downing the tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in your drink comes at a cost — around 120 calories.

It means a grande Oleato Caffe Latte is packed with 323 calories.

This is almost double a regular Caffe Latte of the same size made with semi-skimmed milk, which comes in at 175 calories.

The new olive oil drinks range at Starbucks contain far more calories than similar drinks that have no olive oil in. some Oleato drinks more calorific than a pint of Heineken larger (227 calories) or a McDonald’s cheeseburger (298 calories)

The new olive oil drinks range at Starbucks contain far more calories than similar drinks that have no olive oil in. some Oleato drinks more calorific than a pint of Heineken larger (227 calories) or a McDonald's cheeseburger (298 calories)

Starbucks’ new range of fatty olive-oil infused drinks already launched in the US and Milan and they are now available in select London branches. Three coffees are sold with olive oil in the UK; Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew, Oleato Iced Shaken Espresso and the Oleato Caffe Latte

Starbucks' new range of fatty olive-oil infused drinks already launched in the US and Milan and they are now available in select London branches. Three coffees are sold with olive oil in the UK; Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew, Oleato Iced Shaken Espresso and the Oleato Caffe Latte

For comparison, a pint of Heineken has 227, while a cheeseburger from McDonald’s contains 298.

Yet the Oleato Caffe Latte is not the worst offender.

That accolade goes to the Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew, which has 387 calories — more than a Greggs sausage roll (329).

No exact alternative exists. But a similar drink without olive oil, the Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew, has 179.

The Oleato Iced Shaken Espresso, the final offering in the UK’s range, in grande size is 244 calories a cup.

The non-olive oil equivalent is only sold in the US, which is the Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso. That has 140 calories.

Olive oil, a key component of the health-giving Mediterranean diet, has long been said to be beneficial to health.

Studies have suggested that it can reduce blood pressure and inflammation, as well as boost mood and brain function.

‘Olive oil, and especially extra virgin olive oil, is known to be part of a Mediterranean dietary pattern associated with lower risks of heart disease and some cancers,’ said Dr Duane Mellor, a dietitian at Aston University.

But he insisted there is ‘no proof of any medical benefits’ to adding olive oil to your morning brew.

He added: ‘Although olive oil is considered a healthier source of fat, if you look at the label it might appear to contain more saturated fat than you might expect.

‘This does not necessary mean it’s unhealthy, as it is the balance of fat and how it is used in your diet that matters.’

But because some of these fatty infused drinks contain more than 300 calories, he warns you should be mindful of how many you drink.

Dr Mellor said: ‘If you like the idea of olive oil in coffee, it is worth being aware that at over 300 calories, some of these have more calories than your average pint of beer or a glass of fruit juice.’

A Starbucks spokesperson said: ‘We are committed to helping customers make informed and improved choices that work for them, with all nutritional information available on our mobile app, online and our menu boards.’

The launch of the Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew, Oleato Iced Shaken Espresso and Oleato Caffe Latte follows the success of the chain’s olive-oil infused drinks in the US and Italy.

The chain was inspired by the Italian tradition of drinking a spoon of olive oil a day.

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