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Starbucks For People with Diabetes - Everything You Need to Know!

Starbucks For People with Diabetes - Everything You Need to Know!

  By: Editors at DiabetesIQ  |  Published: March 03, 2021   
Published: March 03, 2021   

© Arne Beruldsen | Dreamstime.com


Starbucks drinks are some of the most popular in the world and for good reason — the coffee chain's selection of seasonal drinks is second to none. From pumpkin spice lattes in fall to refreshing cold coffee concoctions in the summer, Starbucks surely knows how to lure customers in.

But can you enjoy Starbucks drinks if you have diabetes? Most drinks at coffee chains such as Starbucks are loaded with sugar and calories, which means they are not the healthiest of choices even for people who don't have diabetes. 

However, the good news is that there are some low-carb substitutions that you can try at Starbucks. When you live with diabetes, it's important to avoid consuming sugary drinks as this may cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. To enjoy a drink from Starbucks safely, make sure you always check the sugar content and the nutritional label before ordering.

 

What to remember before ordering a drink at Starbucks?

If you have diabetes, there are a couple of rules that you should make sure you follow when you're heading to Starbucks.

 

  • Get back to basics — Black coffee, espresso, tea, and cappuccino are great options for those who want to avoid lots of sugar in their drink. You can give all these drinks a bit of a punch with healthy ad-ons such as nutmeg or cinnamon.
       
  • Stick to the under 100 calories range — Most of the drinks that have hundreds of calories at Starbucks are like that because they're laden with sugar. By only ordering from the range of drinks that are under 100 calories, you'll know that there's not too much sugar in your drink.
       
  • Avoid all sweeteners — Starbucks is known for its incredible choice of syrups, and while they do make a drink more interesting, you should avoid them at all costs. This goes not just for the real syrups, but also artificial ones, because they can skyrocket the calories in your drink to the levels you'd find in a proper meal.
       
  • Milk is also an important ingredient to consider. If you don't ask for anything special, the standard milk at Starbucks is 2% milk. This milk is not particularly unhealthy, but it does contain 9 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Try to replace it with a low-carb milk, such as soy or almond, for example.

 

What are some drinks you can order at Starbucks if you have diabetes?

Not that you know what to avoid when you're heading to Starbucks, here are some of the drinks that you can enjoy.


  • Brewed coffee — a cup of joe never goes out of style, and you don't need to add any sugar or syrups to enjoy its flavour. You can also choose from various types of blends that have different amounts of caffeine in them.
       
  • Iced coffee — an excellent choice for summer days, iced coffee can easily be made more interesting by adding a splash of coconut milk, almond, or soy. If you really feel the need to make your iced coffee a bit sweeter, you can use some Stevia.
       
  • Cappuccino — While this might not sound like the best choice for people with diabetes, you can enjoy this type of drink without lots of sugar because of addition of milk and foam. If you want to cut down on calories as well, you can substitute the milk with coconut or almond milk.
       
  • Caffe Americano — This is just a shot of espresso and water, so it's a great option for those looking to get their caffeine fix quickly and efficiently. It's also one of the best Starbucks drinks you can drink without sugar, as it has an excellent flavour.
       
  • Flavored brewed teas — There's always some kind of flavored tea on the menu at Starbucks. Herbal tea is a diabetic-friendly drink because you'll be able to enjoy it just because of its flavor.
       
  • Low carb London Fog — A London Fog is a combination of Earl Grey tea with steamed milk and vanilla syrup, but you can make it diabetes friendly by asking for sugar free vanilla and replacing the milk with whipping cream.
       
  • Skinny Mocha — Mocha is not typically a diabetic-friendly drink at Starbucks, but you can make a few tweaks if you still want to enjoy it. Ask for the sugar-free mocha syrup and replace the milk with whipping cream.

 

Just because you have diabetes, it doesn't mean that you need to give up coffee and tea. Living with diabetes should simply make you more aware of what you're eating or drinking. Fortunately, it's easy to make some low-carb tweaks when you stop to get your caffeine fix at Starbucks, so you can join in on the fun like everyone else.


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