Food & Drink

Your Starbucks Chai Latte Has More Sugar Than A Snickers Bar

Like drinking candy from a paper cup.
10/21/2014 07:00am ET | Updated December 6, 2017
A Starbucks Corp. new low calorie vanilla latte and mini sparkle doughnuts are arranged for a photograph in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010. New Yorkers were more inclined to buy coffee from Starbucks Corp., especially from stores near a Dunkin' Donuts outlet, after restaurant chains were required to display calorie counts on products, researchers found. Photographer: Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images

So sorry, but it's true. A grande (16-ounce) Classic Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks contains more sugar than a Snickers candy bar. And half a cup of Ben & Jerry's Phish Food ice cream. And three glazed donuts from Dunkin'.


For whatever reason, the chai latte has been encircled by a health halo: The ever-revered Oprah partnered with Teavana to brand her own Oprah Chai Latte sold at Starbucks (containing 31 grams of sugar), which emanates an, If Oprah does it then I should, too air. Shape reported that svelte celeb Christian Bale starts his day with a Venti Chai Latte. And, from an observational position, the drink appears popular among a health-conscious, gym class attending demographic.

Chai does have its roots steeped in health: The blend of tea, herbs and spices contains heart-healthy antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and can aid in digestion. But modern-day commercialized chai beverages tend to be sugar-laden (Dunkin's medium-sized Vanilla Chai contains 45 grams of sugar) and more of a health threat than a health benefit. Eating too much sugar can lead to risks for weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.

Avoiding the sugar-suck is easy enough. Order a chai brewed tea (the kind that comes in a tea bag) and add your own milk and sugar.

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