How Healthy Is Ben Affleck’s DunKings Iced Coffee?

Here’s what a registered dietitian really thinks of the DunKings menu.

Watching the Chiefs pull off a buzzer beater Super Bowl VIII win was a true nail biter. But the greatest thing to come out of this year’s big game was Ben Affleck’s new Dunkin’ Donuts “DunKing’s Menu,” which was officially announced in the Dunkin’ Super Bowl commercial.

The limited-time menu features a selection of food, drinks, and merch named after Affleck’s failed attempt at a boy band: “The DunKings” (featuring Boston’s finest Matt Damon as backup and Tom Brady on the keys).

The “DunKings Menu” is available now, and features five menu items including Affleck’s favorite iced coffee, and the “DunKings Munchkin skewer”—three assorted donut holes on a skewer that, “like the olive in a martini, offers a playful bite to every sip,” Dunkin’ said in a press release.

As expected, the new menu isn’t the healthiest. We tapped registered dietitian Jonathan Valdez RDN, LDN, CCM, CDCES, ACE-CPT to find out.

Jonathan Valdez RDN, LDN, CCM, CDCES, ACE-CPT is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified personal trainer with a passion for providing evidence-based nutrition guidance to empower a healthy lifestyle.

DunKings Iced Coffee

The DunKings Iced Coffee

Affleck’s go-to iced coffee features notes of vanilla and cream, topped with sweet cold foam and a dusting of cinnamon sugar. While the DunKings Iced Coffee is certainly healthier than many of Dunkins’ menu items (for example, the medium size Caramel Swirl Frozen Coffee packs 860 calories and 122 grams of sugar) it’s still not your healthiest bet.

There are no official nutritionals on the DunKings Iced Coffee yet, but the default three pumps of French Vanilla Swirl contain 31 grams of added sugar, the Sweet Cold Foam packs 10 grams of added sugar, and the Cinnamon Sugar Topping adds around 3 grams of sugar—for a whopping 44 grams total of added sugar. That’s well over the 36 grams of sugar per day limit the American Heart Association recommends for men (1).

Stick with black coffee, says Valdez. If you’re craving something sweet, you’re better off opting for a vanilla flavor shot (which only adds 5 to 10 calories and is unsweetened, sugar free, and free of artificial sweeteners). Swap out the cold foam and cinnamon sugar for a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

DunKings MUNCHKINS skewers

The DunKings MUNCHKINS® Skewers

Ever had a bloody mary where they load up the skewer with snacks? The DunKings MUNCHKINS® Skewer is the sweet version you can put in any Dunkin drink. Though we’d never say donut holes are healthy, the skewer is one of the better portion sizes of donuts you’ll find on the menu.

A single DunKings MUNCHKINS® Skewer is 160 to 170 calories (depending on which flavor you choose) and around 9 grams of added sugar. This is worlds better than the Apple Stick, which packs 470 calories—close to the amount of calories most people would eat in an entire meal. Pair your MUNCHKINS® with something low-carb, high-protein like the Egg White & Veggie Omelet Bites (180 calories, 13 grams protein) to reduce blood glucose spikes.

Everything Encore Breakfast Snadwich

Everything Encore Breakfast Sandwich

Most Dunkin breakfast items are worth a pass if you’re trying to stay on the straight and narrow. For example, of the breakfast sandwiches on the menu each has either bacon, a maple syrup dipping sauce, or both—which doesn’t exactly scream health. The Everything Encore Breakfast Sandwich (640 calories) is no exception: it features Sweet Black Pepper Seasoned Bacon, cheddar cheese, an egg, and an everything bagel.

Processed meats, like bacon, have been linked to cancer (2). The fact that bacon is high in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium likely has something to do with it (3, 4, 5). However, in recent years the spotlight has shifted to nitrates—a compound found in processed meats that can produce harmful cancer-causing nitrosamines in your body (6).

“Give Affleck’s breakfast sandwich a pass in favor of a processed meat free option like the Egg White Bowl (250 calories, 14 grams protein), Veggie Egg White Sandwich (290 calories, 17 gram protein), and Veggie Egg White Wake Up Wrap (150 calories, 15 grams protein),” says Valdez.

Hazelnut Heartthrob Iced Coffee

Hazelnut Heartthrob Iced Coffee

The healthiest coffee drink on the “DunKings Menu” is the Hazelnut Heartthrob—a blend of sweet caramel, notes of hazelnut, and whole milk. Hot or iced, a medium sized Hazelnut Heartthrob clocks in around 200 calories.

Still, the drink is loaded with sugar. A medium defaults to three shots of unsweetened hazelnut and three pumps of sweetened caramel—which comes out to 35 grams of added sugar. You’d be better off sticking to a plain hazelnut flavored coffee. Or customize the Hazelnut Heartthrob by ordering unsweetened hazelnut, or at least tapering to one shot of the sweetened stuff.

Mixed Berry Beats Dunkin Refresher

Mixed Berry Beats Dunkin’ Refresher

This is basically just the Strawberry Dragonfruit Dunkin’ Refresher with three pumps of sugar-free Raspberry flavor.

Of the “DunKings Menu” options, this fruity sip is the lowest in sugar (27 grams of sugar) and calories (130 calories). That said, an Unsweetened Iced Berry Hibiscus Sweet Tea or Unsweetened Iced Green Tea are better alternatives with no added sugar.