Coffee

5 Best Healthy Starbucks Drinks to Order Instead of Sugary Ones

Starbucks is known for its coffee, but the chain also offers a variety of drinks that are considered healthy. These include the Teavana shaken iced tea, Evolution Fresh juices, and the Starbucks Refreshers. The Teavana shaken iced tea is made with brewed tea, fruit juice, and agave nectar. The Evolution Fresh juices are made with vegetables and fruit, and the Starbucks Refreshers are made with fruit juice and carbonated water.

Low-Sugar Drinks at Starbucks

The New York Times columnist and author of the book The Clean & Simple Diabetes Cookbook, Maria Rodgriguez, shared her favorite healthy Starbucks drinks.

While most beverages are not recommended on the Starbucks website because they contain too much sugar, these drinks — which are both low in calories and sugar — are among the few that the company allows.

We’re strict about not allowing any added sugar,” says Starbucks coffee bachelorette Deborah Tang. “If you asked for a latte, they’ll probably ask you to put your order in two sizes: one with half milk, half cream.”

Healthy Starbucks Drinks

But there’s no need to miss out on the fun that Starbucks offers. Here’s a list of healthy alternatives for when you’re in a hurry and need a quick pick-me-up.

Skinny Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha

This festive drink (which Starbucks lists as a “secret menu” item) is a healthier alternative to the traditional peppermint mocha, which packs a whopping 290 calories and 9 grams of fat. The skinny version has just 140 calories and 3.5 grams of fat.

The white chocolate in the creamy sauce offsets the peppermint flavor, which can sometimes be intense. If you like lots of flavor and spice, add a pinch of ground nutmeg to your cup after adding the syrup.

Start off with: Tall = 140 calories / Regular = 170 calories / Grande = 190 calories

Clean Boost Green Tea Lemonade Lemon Drop

Try this green tea-based version if you love sweet lemonade but don’t want to load up on calories and sugar. It only has five calories per serving and is naturally sweetened with stevia.

Add a boost in flavor by asking for a squeeze of lemon juice in this drink—that’s where it gets its “lemon drop” name. Don’t like green tea? This drink is also delicious (and healthier) when made with pure cane sugar instead of stevia.

Start off with: Tall = 5 calories

Caramel Apple Spice (Tall):

This seasonal drink isn’t on the menu at all Starbucks stores, but you may be able to convince your barista to make it for you. Made with Caramel Ribbon Crunch sauce and an Apple Cider base, the Tall Caramel Apple Spice is one of the healthiest drinks on the menu—and it only has 150 calories.

If your local Starbucks isn’t familiar with this recipe, ask them to combine unsweetened apple cider, caramel sauce, and a spice of your choice (like cinnamon or cardamom) in a tall cup over ice.

Start off with: Tall = 150 calories

Starbucks Iced Latte

This classic drink is one of the easiest to make healthy at Starbucks. Ask your barista to skip the syrup and add two shots of espresso to your cup over ice. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can ask them to add unsweetened almond milk on top for a few extra calories.

Latte = 140 calories

Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

This delicious combination of sweet and salty only appears in two flavors at Starbucks: dark chocolate and salted caramel. The latter is especially low in added sugar, making it a worthy choice if you’re looking for a healthier option. This flavor comes in both hot and cold forms, and the hot chocolate version packs 16 grams of protein—more than any other Starbucks drink!

Starbucks Iced Cinnamon Almond Coffee

Don’t feel like a chocolate fix? Try this iced cinnamon almond coffee, which packs a delicious sweet-and-salty combo. The flavor comes from sustainably grown Arabica cinnamon and sliced almonds, which are rich in magnesium, a mineral that helps curb cravings and regulates blood sugar. This drink also has between two and three grams of sugar per serving, making it on the tamer side sweetness-wise.

Starbucks Iced Coffee with protein powder

If you are a fan of iced coffees, you’ll adore this leaner take on the Starbucks Grande Coffees. By adding a scoop of protein powder, you’ll get a great boost of muscle-building nutrients – and you can sweeten it with a little cinnamon.

Simplify things by ordering this combination as an extra shot in your espresso-based drink, and add the protein powder afterward.

Best Healthy Starbucks Drinks

The health of the American public is, for the most part, in a steady decline.

Healthy Starbucks Drinks

While cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic illnesses have been trending for years, the problem has become so bad that it is now deemed a pandemic.

Despite the troubling health trends, healthful living is still trending, and many companies are doing their part to promote healthy products and lean meals that ward off disease and increase longevity.

One of the most successful American brands ever is Starbucks. With more than 28,000 stores in over 72 countries, the brand has touched many corners of the globe.

Although Starbucks became famous for its coffee, it expanded its offerings to include healthier alternatives such as soy milk, protein shakes, fruit snacks, and energy-boosting snacks.

But if you’re looking for a healthier drink option at Starbucks, then you’re in luck. The following are the best healthy Starbucks drinks that will instantly replenish your energy stores.

Sparkling lemonade

Not a coffee lover? Then try this sparkling lemonade instead. This healthy Starbucks drink only has five calories and is packed with natural ingredients such as citric low acid coffee, lemon, and stevia. Although the flavor is naturally sweeter than sugar, the lingering sweetness from the stevia is pleasantly surprising.

Unsweetened iced tea

If you love drinking tea, then you’ll be happy to know that Starbucks uses high-quality blends. The unsweetened iced tea only has five calories, thanks to its made with just natural ingredients such as leaves and water.

Agave latte

If you need your sweet fix and a bit of caffeine, try the agave latte. Although it’s sweet, the barilla organic noodles and whole milk help balance the flavor. This healthy Starbucks drink comes in at 139 calories.

Soy milk cappuccino

This healthier Starbucks drink choice is as healthy as a coffee can get, especially if you opt for soy milk. With 59 calories and no added sugars, it’s a win for those of us who don’t like to ruin our diets with a snack.

Tazo Passion tumeric tea

This barista-made tea comes in at 20 calories and is a super antioxidant with anti-inflammatory benefits. Although you might need to add milk to this healthy Starbucks drink to keep it from getting too bitter, the honey in the Tazo tea bag helps avoid that flavor.

Sugar-Free Starbucks Drinks

If you’re counting carbs or cutting out sugar, your go-to Starbucks order might need a makeover. That’s why we’ve chosen the best healthy Starbucks drinks that still satisfy your cravings without wrecking your diet.

Fervent coffee fans already know that the Seattle-based chain offers healthier ingredients than your average coffee shop. They phase out artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners, use certified organic ingredients, and their menu is free from meat, eggs, and milk.

Even better, many of the standard Starbucks drinks are already on the healthier side, so you don’t really have to change your order too much to make it healthier. A skinny latte and orange juice, for example, are already there for you if you’re in the mood for a morning reboot or a piece of fruit instead of a muffin will upgrade your Grande Pike place situation sans too much agony.

But what about the times you crave something a little different? Or you’re attending an event where red meat and cheese are being served, and you need a way to reset at the end of the day? Here, we’ve gathered together five delicious Starbucks drinks that remain on the healthier side, and we’ve even included recipe instructions so that you can make them at home. 

Low-Calorie Starbucks Drinks

The sugary Starbucks drink menu is getting a makeover.

As the health crisis has deepened, Americans have slowly become more mindful of what we eat and drink. And big food and beverage companies have noticed. They’ve begun rushing to offer “no-added-sugar” versions of products once laden with glucose—think Sprite Zero, Fun Yogurt Smoothies, and Candy Crush Chews. (Notable exceptions: McDonald’s McGriddle and Doritos Cool Ranch Dippable Snack remain undoubtedly sugary.)

While this movement is, on the whole, a good one, it can make shopping for a healthy coffee at Starbucks difficult because the chain doesn’t advertise its healthier options. (It’s also a smaller part of its business: In its 2020 business report, Starbucks notes that its reserve of “innovative, high-growth franchises” is primarily in its retail operations and Starbucks Reserve stores, neither of which cater to health-conscious customers.)

That’s why we’ve assembled a list of the best healthy Starbucks drinks—those that are low in calories and packed with nutrients. Ordering one of these drinks at Starbucks won’t make you feel like you’re making a sacrifice for your health.

Conclusion

Starbuck’s drinks can be a part of a healthy diet if you make the right choices. Many of their healthier options include teas, coffee, and fruit juices. However, you should avoid their sugary drinks and pastries. By making the right choices, you can enjoy Starbucks’ drinks without worrying about your health.

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