Is Dunkin Donuts Coffee Healthy (Nutrition Pros and Cons)?
In this blog post, I’ll review the question of whether Dunkin Donuts Coffee is healthy or not? Find out this product’s nutrition pros and cons, plus some better options to consider.
Dunkin Donuts Coffee Facts
Dunkin Donuts is an international coffee and baked goods chain launched in 1950. There are thousands of Dunkin Donuts restaurants across the United States and in 36 other countries.
While this company used to be most known for its donuts, it has become more known as a coffee shop or coffee chain in recent years. You’ll find everything from coffee to hot chocolate to black tea.
Various Dunkin Donuts Coffee options include hot and cold coffees made with high-quality 100% Arabica beans.
You can expect variations of:
- Hot Coffee
- Iced Coffee
- Cold Brew
- Iced Americano
- Iced Latte
- Signature Latte
- Iced Signature Latte
- Iced Macchiato
- Iced Cappuccino
Each option contains brewed coffee; you can customize the size, type of milk, and flavor options, and you can choose to sweeten it with sugar.
Some coffees have plant milk options like almond, coconut, or oat milk, others are only available with dairy milk or cream.
Dunkin Donuts Coffee Ingredients
Dunkin Donuts Coffee, on its own, contains 100% Arabica coffee.
But, that’s just one of the many Dunkin Donuts Coffees available, and most of them are customizable by adding your choice of milk and flavoring. There’s also the option to add sugar and flavor swirls.
Here are the main ingredients in these options and what you should know about them.
Coffee contains caffeine, a natural stimulant with potential health benefits when consumed in moderation.
Caffeine can protect against DNA damage, relieve pain, improve liver enzyme production, and help prevent age-related cognitive decline and diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
On the other hand, too much regular caffeine can cause negative side effects like increased heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, jitters, and anxiety in those sensitive to it. Even people not particularly sensitive to caffeine can be affected when ingesting high doses. It is a stimulant, even if it’s natural.
Depending on the type of coffee, Dunkin Donuts Coffee’s dairy milk options are skim milk, whole milk, and cream.
The brand’s plant-based milk options are coconut, oat, and almond milk. If you are not lactose intolerant and choose to have dairy, whole milk is probably your best choice as it is the least processed.
I wrote an informative article about the benefits of going dairy-free if you need more clarification about dairy.
If you are dairy-free, vegan, or prefer a plant-based diet, it’s important to note the other ingredients in the plant milk available from Dunkin Donuts. None of them are 100% natural. All the plant-based milk options for Dunkin Donuts Coffee contain sunflower lecithin, preservatives, and stabilizers.
The oat milk also contains sunflower oil and guar gum. The almond milk in Dunkin Donuts Coffee contains sugar, gellan gum, potassium citrate, and various added vitamins, and the coconut milk contains gellan gum, different added vitamins, and locust bean gum.
Although many of the added ingredients in these plant milk options are not necessarily unhealthy, the additional ingredients makes them more processed.
Adding dairy milk or plant milk to your coffee will increase the calorie intake and possibly the sugar content. For fewer calories, a great option is to drink black coffee.
Some of the Dunkin Donuts Coffee flavorings contain unhealthy ingredients like fillers, artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, sweetened condensed milk, and high fructose corn syrup.
Artificial colors and flavors are generally unhealthy, and many of them have verified health risks. Some artificial additives can cause allergic reactions in people, like hives and asthma. Research seems to have found a link between synthetic food dyes and autism.
The Dunkin Donuts website does not mention the exact type of artificial flavoring and coloring that they use, but it’s worth noting that most unnatural additives have potential health risks. Even flavors like French vanilla may come from chemicals and not from real food.
Preservatives can cause various health problems and side effects like respiratory problems, ADHD, heart problems, increased risk of obesity, headaches, lowered energy levels, and more. Extensive research has shown the validity of these claims. Although there are different preservatives available, and they don’t all have the same health risks, preservatives overall can not be considered healthy.
Sweetened condensed milk is cow’s milk with the water removed and high quantities of added sugar. It is a concentrated source of fat and sugar. Excessive consumption can contribute to health problems like weight gain, dental issues, blood sugar imbalances, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
High fructose corn syrup is a highly processed ingredient with potential health risks. According to research, it can increase appetite and promote obesity. Other studies have found that this ingredient can contribute to diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, high triglycerides, and inflammation.
Dunkin Donuts Coffee Nutrition Pros
Dunkin Donuts Coffee is made with 100% Arabica coffee. After roasting, Arabica coffee has a better balance of healthy compounds than robusta coffee.
Coffee contains caffeine, which can have tremendous health benefits as long as you enjoy it in moderation. Caffeine can protect against DNA damage, relieve pain, and promote liver health. It’s also good for helping to prevent age-related cognitive decline and diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Dunkin Donuts Coffee Nutrition Cons
Although Dunkin Donuts Coffee is 100% Arabica, it is not organic. If you choose to sweeten the coffee, the added sugar may not be a healthy choice. If you add flavorings to your coffee drinks, it is certainly not a healthy choice.
The flavor options at Dunkin Donuts contain a long list of unnatural and unhealthy ingredients, including fillers, artificial colors and flavors, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup.
Dunkin Coffee Nutrition FAQs
The original version of Dunkin Donuts Coffee (plain black regular coffee or cold brew coffee), without added flavors or too much sugar, can be healthy if you’re not sensitive to caffeine.
However, it’s not organic, and most Dunkin Donuts Coffee options contain artificial flavors and too much sugar. Make your coffee at home using organic coffee beans to ensure you get the healthiest version of natural caffeine. It will save money as well!
No, it is not. Coffee contains caffeine that is unsafe for children or people sensitive to caffeine. It’s essential to consider the other ingredients in this product depending on the type of coffee you choose.
Since some flavorings contain unhealthy ingredients, avoiding them or using them only in moderation is best.
If you choose Dunkin Donuts Coffee without sugar or flavorings or brew it at home, it is sugar-free. If you have the flavored versions, your coffee will contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup, an unhealthy ingredient. Some flavorings contain both sweeteners.
The healthiest coffee options at Dunkin Donuts are the coffee drinks without anything extra added, like the Americano or Espresso. It’s best not to add sugar and stick to unflavored coffee that has zero grams of sugar.
If you choose to add plant milk to your coffee, you must be aware that the plant milk options Dunkin Donuts offers also contain processed ingredients.
You could also try other healthy drinks like unsweetened iced green tea, unsweetened iced tea, or unsweetened hot tea as other healthy options.
Dunkin Donuts Coffee Conclusions
Dunkin Donuts Coffee is made from high-quality Arabica beans and can be a relatively healthy product if you enjoy it without flavorings and too much sugar. Dunkin Donuts Coffee is not suitable for people sensitive to caffeine or for children. This coffee is also not organic, and it is more expensive than making coffee at home. If you like the flavor of Dunkin Donuts coffee, your best bet is to get the original version without artificial flavors or make it at home.
Don’t Miss These Coffee Articles!
About the Author: Carrie Forrest has a master’s degree in public health with a specialty in nutrition. She is a top wellness and food blogger with over 10 million annual visitors to her site. Carrie has an incredible story of recovery from chronic illness and is passionate about helping other women transform their health. Send Carrie a message through her contact form.
Note: this post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your healthcare provider for recommendations related to your individual situation.