There is a surprising amount of sugar in many Starbucks' drinks. The top offender is a 16-oz. grande Caffè Vanilla Frappuccino made with whole milk and topped whipped cream, which measures in at 69 grams of sugar. Other beverages to watch out for include the White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino made with whole milk and topped whipped cream, at 67 grams of sugar for 16 oz., the Java Chip Frappuccino (whole milk, whipped cream) at 66 grams of sugar, and the Green Tea Crème Frappuccino (whole milk, whipped cream) at 65 grams of sugar. In fact, there are 15 Starbucks beverages that weigh in at 40 grams. or more of sugar. Considering that the American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 24 grams of sugar each day, your morning Starbucks wake-me-up can easily blow your daily allowance.
Avoiding Sugar at Starbucks
Fortunately, it is entirely possible to avoid sugar with a Starbucks beverage, but it will require ordering a coffee or tea with no additives whatsoever. Both beverages are naturally sugar-free, but once any additive joins the beverage, the sugar count begins to climb. This means that you should request your drink without sweetener, but also without cream, milk, or any other additives. If some form of sweetening or lightening is required, you can always add a non-dairy creamer or artificial sweetener to your beverage—but make sure to read the labels to verify that no sugars are present.
If no sugar is your goal, you'll also want to avoid ordering the regular iced coffee. Starbucks adds syrup to sweeten that drink, which adds a surprising 20 grams of sugar. When in doubt, ask your barista if they add syrup to any drink you're considering.
Sugar-Free Starbucks Coffee
Most true coffee enthusiasts like their beverages black without any lighteners and sweeteners, and Starbucks has some great cups of black coffee you can enjoy, including:
- Blonde Roast
- Clover Brewed Coffee
- Nitro Cold Brew Coffee
- Pike Place Roast (regular and decaf)
- Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee
Sugar-Free Starbucks Espresso Drinks
Espresso drinks are often made with milk, cream, or similar ingredients that contain sugar. Unfortunately, your Starbucks choices here are limited, but if you stick to one of these drinks, your trip to Starbucks will remain sugar-free.
- Blonde Caffè Americano
- Caffè Americano
- Espresso Macchiato
- Iced Caffè Americano
- Iced Blonde Caffè Americano
The espresso macchiato may confuse you because it's a cup of espresso topped with a little foam milk. Starbucks' website says that this drink has no sugar, no matter what type of milk you request. And a number of other online nutrition calculators also say that this drink has zero grams of sugar. However, at least one other website says that this drink has 1 gram of sugar.
In general, 2 percent milk has 12 grams of sugar per 8-ounce cup. Since only 1 to 2 teaspoons of foamed milk are used for the espresso macchiato, the amount of sugar added is too small to register in most nutrition calculations. For sugar watchers, this is a relatively safe beverage.
Sugar-Free Starbucks Teas
As with coffee, the sugar-free tea drinks found at Starbucks are going to be those without sweeteners or additives. Tea lattes, lemonades, and even most of the iced tea drinks will all have sugars from milk, cream, or syrup. Your best bet is to order a classic cup of brewed tea.
- Comfort Wellness Brewed Tea
- Emperor's Cloud and Mist Green Tea
- Jade Citrus Mint Green Tea
- Mint Majesty Herbal Tea
- Passion Tango Herbal Tea
- Peach Tranquility Herbal Tea
- Rev Up Wellness Brewed Tea
- Royal English Breakfast Tea
- Teavana Earl Grey Brewed Tea
- Teavana Organic Chai Tea
- Youthberry White Tea