5 Best Low Carb Low Sugar Starbucks Drinks
Reading time: 5.5 min
For heaps of people, having a morning cup of coffee and then another one for that afternoon slump is just a normal day.
Over 60% of Americans claim to start their day with a cup of coffee.
And whilst coffee does contain some antioxidants and can even reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, dieticians reckon that many people have no idea as to the negative impacts drinking a lot of coffee can have on people.
This is particularly when that plain cup of Joe gets converted into the sugary lattés or the blended drinks.
Many of the fancy Starbucks drinks are soaked in extra sugar and calories which can cause major hormone imbalances in the body, let alone contributing to the obesity epidemic which we know to be at record highs.
Starbucks and Your Blood Sugar
I just recently got a continuous glucose monitor sensor. That is a sensor you put in your arm and for 14 days it monitors you blood sugar continuously. This is perfect for seeing how the things you eat and drink affect your blood sugar and insulin.
I don’t have to tell you what a Frappuccino did to my blood sugar. But knowing that something is way to high and sugar and actually seeing the affect it is having on your body are two different things.
And it wasn’t just how high my blood sugar went, it was how long it stayed up there. I am not diabetic and I can normally have a treat, yes my blood sugar will go up but in most cases it comes right back down.
Certain foods and drinks cause it to stay high for quite some time. Those are the really bad ones that are on my list of things I will no longer have, like the Frappuccino, even though I love the Frappuccino.
I highly recommend everyone give the continuous glucose sensor a try at least once. I know they are expensive but it’s really important to see how different foods and drinks affect your blood sugar to truly help you make healthy lifestyle changes.
It’s never easy to just stop having something because we know it’s not “healthy”. But when you can see the actual effect it is having on your body in pretty much real time, it makes making the decision to change easier.
We all know that the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino which was made for Instagram fame and fanfare, followed by others such as The Mermaid Frappuccino was the real rage.
But lets have a closer look at the ‘Unicorn’ drink.
Did you know that it contains around 410 calories with 59 grams of sugar in a Grande of 16 ounces?
If you need to make a comparison, a 16 ounce Coca-Cola contains 190 calories with 52 grams of sugar thrown in.
The Unicorn way exceeds what nutritionists would consider acceptable levels of calories and sugars in a beverage.
And the Unicorn isn’t the ‘worst’ one either.
Look at the S’mores Frappuccino – it consists of 490 calories and 67 grams of sugar in the 16-ounce Grande serving!
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A study completed in 2016 and published in the JAMA Internal Medicine publication states that if a person’s calorie intake on a daily basis consists of 25% more sugar, then their risk of perishing from heart disease actually doubles compared to diets that consist of less than 10% sugar.
Other diseases that sugar detrimentally affects are insulin resistance, pancreatic cancer, liver failure, and of course obesity.
Registered nutritionists/dieticians say that by drinking the high-calorie Starbucks beverages, you cause the blood glucose to spike up which can increase problems like insulin resistance, associated with diseases like type 2 diabetes.
Fortunately, a Starbucks spokesperson has said that Starbucks is now committed to reducing their added sugar in some of the indulgent beverages by 25% by end 2020, but that ultimately consumers have the responsibility of making their own nutritional choices.
What is the best Starbucks drink for someone on the keto diet?
The best Starbucks drink for someone on the keto diet, is going to be any black coffee or teas. Add in some heavy whipping cream if you want something a little extra. But you can’t go wrong with a herbal tea or a dark roast coffee.
Minus the whipping cream, black coffee and tea are also a perfect drink for those that are doing intermittent fasting.
Is flavored coffee okay to drink on a ketogenic diet?
Sugar free syrups are fine on a ketogenic diet. However you want to remember that some studies show that sugar free foods can actually lower your blood sugar because your body thinks it’s getting sugar and has an insulin response.
Low blood sugar could increase your cravings for food. Something to be aware of. If you find your having to many cravings after having a drink with sugar free syrups, it might be time to let them go.
Look at these 5 drinks you can enjoy though, with less sugar. Here are more to check out later if you want to stay slim or are on a keto diet.
1. Teavana Shaken Ice Passion Tango Tea.
You should ask for the non-sweetened version of this delightful fruity drink. As it already contains plenty of zest, you will not need sugar or syrup.
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2. Iced coffee
This Starbuck’s summer staple drink comes in an unsweetened version with no sugar and no calories. The sweetened version is 60 calories with 15 g of sugar. Just adding some whole milk to your unsweetened ice coffee is just a mere 30 calories with 2 g sugar.
If you love the steamed milk you get in a latte but love the pick-me-up of the expresso and want to cut back on calories, the Americano with steamed milk can be a real favorite at Starbucks.
4. Mint Majesty Hot Tea
Any of the herbal teas contain 0 calories and have plenty of antioxidants. The Starbucks mint tea has a really refreshing taste, not only delicious but proving health benefits for the GI system and gut. Not only do you cut back on sugar, but if you are trying to cut down on caffeine as well, this is the ideal drink.
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5. Brewed Chai Tea with a Splash of Steamed Milk
A tall Chai Tea Latté would have 42 g sugar and contain 240 calories and 45 g carbs; more sugar than what is needed in a day plus the carbs. But if you rather opt for your brewed hot chai tea, asking for steamed skim milk instead, you cut right down to only 30 calories!
It is possible if you want to slim down and cut your sugar intake, that you can still find what you are looking for at your favorite Starbucks – that’s good news! Can we drink to that?