Cutting back on sugar is one of the wisest choices you can make. If you’re a Starbucks regular, you may be wondering if you’ll have to kick the habit.
Thankfully, there are quite a few low-sugar Starbucks drinks for you to enjoy. Not only do these hot and cold items taste delicious, but they’ll also stay beneath a certain sugar gram threshold. While less sugar runs the risk of tasting lackluster, we’re here to assure you they can be just as delicious as their loaded cousins!
Instead of meticulously measuring out your next lunch order, we’ll give you some options to choose from. We have several low sugar Starbucks drinks for you to try out on your next trip.
Sugar Alternatives You Should Know About
Before we dive into the best Starbucks low sugar drinks, you need to know about sugar alternatives. Depending on the reasons why you’re cutting back, some may be more suitable than others.
With a distinctive sweet flavor that goes with several recipes, honey is a sugar alternative you can consider. Although honey still has quite a few calories, it also boasts several health effects that make it more appealing than processed sugar.
Modern medicine believes honey reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease or improves memory issues.
One of the best-known sugar alternatives is Splenda, though it may not be the solution you’re looking for. This ingredient sometimes goes by the name sucralose.
On the plus side, Splenda is a prime choice for drinkers with type 2 diabetes. Since Splenda has such little effect on blood sugar, people won’t run the risk of kidney damage or vision loss.
The downside? Splenda is a laxative, which means you could experience uncomfortable bowel movements or need to go to the bathroom prematurely.
Similar to Splenda, Equal is easy to find in just about any cafe or grocery store. While Splenda uses sucralose, Equal uses aspartame. This ingredient has no smell and is at least two hundred times sweeter than table sugar.
Similar to Splenda, Equal also has laxative side effects.
When it comes to reducing calories and sugar count, Stevia currently leads the pack. This sugar alternative comes from a South American plant and is at least one hundred times sweeter than table sugar!
It’s important to note that the raw version of the plant is still undergoing testing for health benefits. The refined version you buy at the store or a Starbucks cafe, however, is perfectly safe. That said, it doesn’t hurt to do a small test to make sure you’re not allergic!
Last but not least, the sugar-free syrup is another solution you can try. Starbucks sugar-free syrups use sucralose.
The Best Low Sugar Starbucks Drinks
There are quite a few drinks for you to enjoy on a low-sugar diet. Our suggestions below are arranged from the least amount of sugar to the highest.
1. Iced Passion Tango Tea
Calorie Count: 0
Sugar Count: 0
With no sugar and no calories, this drink is a shoo-in for our top recommendation. The Iced Passion Tango Tea is incredibly refreshing year-round for its sweet-yet-tart flavors. To top things off, this drink is also caffeine free!
This tasty menu item contains a blend of tart lemongrass, floral hibiscus, and a splash of sweet apples. If you want a little more to chew on (pun intended), you can add a few strawberries or freeze-dried pineapple.
2. Teavana Shaken Sweet Iced Green Tea
Calorie Count: 0 to 45 (if you use liquid cane sugar)
Sugar Count: 11g (if you use liquid cane sugar)
Following in at a close second is the Teavana Shaken Sweet Iced Green Tea. While this tea clocks in at zero calories and zero sugar, we have a simple addition to help you get some sweetness.
The original Iced Green Tea uses green tea with a mix of cool mint, lemongrass, and lemon verbena (a type of flower commonly used in blends). We recommend adding a sprinkle or dollop of your sugar of choice to sweeten things up. You could do a packet of Stevia or ask for a shot of their liquid cane sugar.
3. Caffe Americano
Calorie Count: 0 to 20 (if you use a tablespoon of creamer)
Sugar Count: 0 to 50 (if you use a tablespoon of sugar)
Don’t feel like fussing with multiple ingredients combinations? Just grab a Caffe Americano on your way to work. This elegantly simple drink only has two ingredients: espresso shots and hot water.
Bold and robust, this drink is best enjoyed tossed back with a snack. If the espresso’s bite is still too strong, add a quick dollop of cream or a sprinkle of sugar on your way out the door.
4. Caffe Misto
Calorie Count: 50 to 130
Sugar Count: 5g to 13g
Another easy way to get your coffee fix without regret is the Caffe Misto. This drink uses brewed coffee and steamed milk – think of it as an exceptionally casual latte.
Since it lacks espresso, the flavor will be a touch more on the mellow or sweet side. Similar to the Caffe Americano, you can adjust this recipe or leave it as is. A shot of sugar-free syrup or a sprinkle of cinnamon is a popular addition.
Remember that milk already has a little sugar in it, hence why there’s still a sugar count despite no sweeteners added.
5. Chai Tea Latte
Calorie Count: 145 to 385 (if you use steamed milk)
Sugar Count: 0 to 5 grams (if you use a shot of syrup)
If you crave the gentle spice of chai tea, we recommend going the classic route. This means steering clear of the chai tea latte mixture Starbucks uses and instead asking them for one of their tea packets.
Chai tea made with a tea packet and supplemented with microfoam will be much less sugary. You can then adjust the order as you please with a sugar alternative or a smaller shot of syrup. We highly recommend vanilla or hazelnut, as both flavors sync well with chai’s base of cinnamon and cloves.
6. Espresso Con Panna
Calorie Count: 30 to 45
Sugar Count: 0
Want another simple coffee drink with a few bells and whistles? Espresso Con Panna cuts straight to the chase with two espresso shots and a dab of whipped cream. Guess what – this drink has no sugar whatsoever!
Since milk has naturally occurring sugars called lactose, this detail may come as a surprise. Whipped cream is unique in that it comes with a higher concentration of fat but minimal lactose.
You won’t find Tall or Grande sizes with an Espresso Con Panna. Since these drinks are so small, they come in Solo, Doppio, Triple, and Quad sizes.
7. Plain Cappuccino
Calorie Count: 70 to 200
Sugar Count: 6g to 19g
If the Caffe Americano is too bitter and the Espresso Con Panna too small, get a Plain Cappuccino. This silky, creamy drink is like sipping on a cloud, making it the ultimate pick-me-up when you’re feeling blue.
Cappuccinos are made similarly to lattes – espresso shots and milk – but use mostly microfoam to create their signature creamy texture. If you want your drink as fluffy as possible, ask for a dry version. If you don’t mind a little steamed milk, ask for a wet version.
8. Skinny Vanilla Latte
Calorie Count: 120 to 200
Sugar Count: 7g to 15g
The term ‘skinny’ is a frequent request by customers eager to cut back on sugar and fat. The Skinny Vanilla Latte uses many of the same ingredients as the standard, so you’ll enjoy a similar flavor.
Instead of whole milk or 2% milk, a skinny version will use a fat-free variety (while skipping the whipped cream). You’ll also get a shot or two of sugar-free vanilla syrup. Since the Skinny Vanilla Latte uses the classic Blonde roast, this drink will actually have extra caffeine.FAQ
Want a few more tips to ensure you’re getting the best-tasting low-sugar drinks? Check out our answers to commonly asked questions on Starbucks low sugar drinks below.
Do Starbucks Drinks Have a Lot of Sugar?
We won’t lie: most of them have a ton of sugar. Starbucks drinks are famously packed with dollops, drizzles, and pumps.
Over the years, Starbucks has continued to refine its menu to ensure more customers walk away happy. You’ll easily be able to find menu items with a low-sugar or low-fat focus. You can also adjust your order by switching to sugar-free syrup or skipping the whipped cream.
What Syrups at Starbucks are Sugar-Free?
The sugar-free syrups at Starbucks are vanilla and cinnamon dolce (which has a sweeter flavor than regular powdered cinnamon).
How Can I Drink Less Sugar at Starbucks?
A low-sugar lifestyle isn’t hard to achieve nowadays. You can easily reduce your sugar at Starbucks by doing the following:
- Switching to sugar-free syrup or skipping it entirely
- Using nonfat or 1% milk
- Buying smaller drink sizes
What Does “Skinny” Mean for Starbucks Drinks?
The term ‘skinny’ tells the barista you want a low-sugar and low-fat drink. They’ll achieve this by swapping in sugar-free syrups, skipping the whipped cream, and/or using nonfat milk.