I love Starbucks coffee, and it is a treat year-round, whether it’s a creamy iced latte on the hottest day of the Summer, a pumpkin spice latte on a brisk Fall day, or my kid’s favorite: a piping hot chocolate or peppermint mocha in the winter. Can we have a healthy Starbucks drink? If you haven’t heard the bad news yet, Sadly, many of your favorite Starbucks’ drinks are loaded with carbs, fat, and much sugar.
Don’t worry, there’s no need to give up Starbucks: you can create practically any Starbucks drink into a relatively healthy one. I have you covered, here are 10 of the best healthy Starbucks drinks that don’t sacrifice on flavor. Plus, a few ordering tips for cutting calories but not taste in your favorite drinks in case you want to customize something or try something new.
Tips for Creating Healthy Starbucks Drinks
1. Switch Your Sweeteners
We all love white sugar and syrup for our drinks, but they don’t love us back equally! Instead, try a packet of stevia or a sprinkle of cinnamon, both of which are usually available at the milk station. If not, simply ask for some. If they don’t have the type of sweetener you like, simply take your own. I do! I love this sweetener, so I keep some with me at all times and use it when needed. I love this blend in my coffee, it gives it a brown sugar taste in my coffee and it is so good!
Use a Different Type of Milk
Starbucks always uses whole milk in your drinks unless you request something different, but stores also carry 2% milk, nonfat skim milk, soy milk, coconut milk, oat milk, and almond milk. Did you know that subbing almond milk for full-fat milk on a tall latte can save you 80 calories on your daily calorie count, and almond milk is one of the best low carb, low calorie, and low-fat milk on the menu? Fewer calories but the same great taste.
Change Your Syrup Pumps
Starbucks has a total of eight syrups year-round, including crowd favorites like cinnamon dolce and caramel. One pump contains approximately 20 calories, and a standard Grande has 4 pumps. Try a few less pumps, or ask for a sugar-free syrup. They have a great sugar-free vanilla syrup.
Order a Tall Instead
Look, if you’re really craving a classic Starbucks creation without any low calorie substitutions, try ordering a Tall and sipping it slowly, enjoying every moment of it. I promise you will still enjoy it as a treat while avoiding the calories found in the Grande size and Venti versions.
Withhold or Reduce the Whipped Cream
Did you know, the standard whipped cream serving for a Tall adds a staggering 82 calories and 8 grams of fat? I know the whipped cream is the best part of the drink, so If you can’t imagine going whipped-cream-free, ask the barista for lite whip, if they have it at your neighborhood Starbucks location.
Check the App for the Calorie Count Before You Order
New laws require that all Starbucks stores in the United States list nutritional information for the standard versions of their drinks on their menus in both the store and on their app. Plan before you go, so the smell of your favorite drink doesn’t persuade you to order drinks with a ton of calories.
10 Healthy Starbucks Drinks that Taste Amazing (Popular Starbucks Drinks)
Most nutritionists will recommend black coffee, iced coffee (black), black tea iced or hot teas, caffé Americano and cafe mistos for people who are watching their waistlines, but honestly, those options are not why we go to Starbucks, even if they’re the healthier options.
Here are the healthiest Starbucks drinks from the Starbucks menu. All the recommendations are the smaller size: Tall
Nonfat Cappuccino: 60 calories
A cappuccino combines a rich shot of espresso with thick, frothy foam. Try sprinkling a little cinnamon or nutmeg on top to give it a punch. It is SO yummy!
Skinny Vanilla Latte: 100 calories
The traditional latte combines espresso shots with rich milk and a ribbon of vanilla syrup, but this lighter version uses nonfat milk and sugar-free vanilla syrup cut down on the calorie count. It will become your go to when craving a sweet afternoon pick-me-up.
Light Frappuccinos: 110-130 calories
Love Frappuccinos on a hot day. This drink is a blended, creamy, icy goodness but can be made healthier with their lightened up line of frapps, including a Vanilla Bean, Coffee, and Caramel Frappuccino Light. You won’t miss the added sugar in the regular frapps. This is such a great option on a hot summer day!
Hot or Iced Caramel Macchiato: 140 calories
Don’t love the taste of coffee, this is a great choice. In this drink, Espresso is combined with unsweetened caramel and vanilla syrup, then topped with non-fat milk and a drizzle of caramel. The cold drink and hot drink versions of this creation each have 7 grams of protein when you switch out the milk and you choose skim milk.
Blonde Flat White: 100 calories
Blonde espresso has a smooth taste and is much smoother than regular espresso, and it’s mixed with nonfat milk. If you aren’t sure the difference: the difference in a flat white and a latte is that flat whites have a thinner layer of foam on top, so they’re perfect if you love the thick, creamy steamed milk that sits just underneath the surface but don’t want all the added calories.
Skinny Chai Tea Latte: 120 calories
This is a classic among Starbucks drinks. This black tea is infused with cinnamon, cloves, and other warming goodies. Perfect for a crisp Fall day. While it is lightly sweetened, a traditional tall contains a whopping 42 grams of sugar, so you’re saving yourself more than 20 grams of sugar in this lightened up version.
Nitro Cold Brew: 5 calories
This Starbucks creation is like a fresh draft beer on a hot day. It’s dispensed from a tap in-store, served unsweetened without ice, and topped with smooth, cold foam. You can add a dash of sweet cream for between 30 and 70 extra calories if you choose for a sweet treat.
Shaken Iced Green Tea: 0 calories
This Summer favorite combines lemongrass, mint, and lemon verbena for those who really want the healthiest drinks at Starbucks. Just be sure to ask for it unsweetened. Simply doing small changes like the green tea you will have other health benefits that include improved fat burning, antioxidants, brain function, and more. Such a great option if you are following a healthy diet but still need that daily dose of caffeine.
Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher: 50 calories
Have you ever seen a raspberry-colored Starbucks and wondered what it is? It’s probably a refresher. These iced options combine Teavana iced tea with a little fruit juice and other add-ins, like coconut milk, to create a fruity and refreshing sip for any sweet tooth. For an even lower calorie option, the good news is you can try the Iced Passion Tango Tea for only 30 calories.
Nonfat Café Mocha: 190 calories
While a rich, chocolate-flavored coffee isn’t exactly a good choice for a healthy morning coffee, sometimes true chocolate lovers just need their weekly dose. Want to cut the calories? Ask for low-fat milk, no whipped cream, and light mocha sauce. Don’t forget to this calorie count is for the tall size.
I hope that you see that you can take your personal favorite drink and make it healthier with the type of milk you use and switching to a good option that is healthier. Starbucks’ lovers who are changing their health don’t have to miss out, they simply need a skinny version of their favorite Starbucks drink.