Healthy Eating

Here you will find tons of information about healthy eating and incorporating the principles of healthy nutrition into your daily life. Built around Dr. Cederquist’s nutritional foundation for healthy weight loss, these articles place a wealth of information right at your fingertips.

Healthy or Unhealthy? The Best Starbucks Drinks

It’s probably the coffee shop you frequent the most, but do you have any idea which of your favorite Starbucks® beverages are better for you than others?


Calling all coffee lovers and Starbucks® devotees: We are breaking down the healthiest and unhealthiest Starbucks® drinks. 

Because let's face it, Starbucks® has a wide variety of menu options from its type of milk to its syrups all the way to its size. With all the choices, figuring out the healthiest choices can be tough. 

Fortunately, identifying better Starbucks® nutrition just got a little easier with these healthiest and unhealthiest drink choices!

Healthy Starbucks® Drink Options

Black Coffee

To each their own on this one. If your taste buds can handle the taste of black coffee, go for it. The body will reap the caffeine benefits without all the added sugars and fat. 

With a variety of blends and roasts offered, the taste buds can remain excited.

Teavana or Herbal Teas

Teas made from herbs and spices essentially lack calories. Varieties such as "Earl Grey" and "Passion Tango" already offers flavor and sweetness. 

If additional sweetness is desired, opt for a small squirt of honey or a sprinkle of sugar or sugar substitute.


With 150 milligrams of caffeine in just one 2-ounce serving, an espresso can really get the day started. 

Although the flavor might be too much to handle, espresso is low in calorie without additional fats or sugars. It can be easily and lightly sweetened with a small splash of milk.

Iced Caffé Latte

This full-bodied espresso with cold milk poured over ice provides the body with 8 grams of protein without added sugars. The 11 grams of sugar found can be contributed to the naturally-occurring sugar, lactose, found in milk and other dairy products. 

A 16-ounce Grande will provide the body 30 percent of its daily calcium needs.

Unhealthy Starbucks® Offerings

Classic Chai Tea Latte

Chai is a "spiced black tea blended with steamed milk." Although a chai tea latte is essentially created from chai tea, do not let the word "tea" in the title fool you. 

Tea can be doctored like coffee; filled with sugar and in this case, composed of 42 grams.

Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino Blended Coffee

The description is this: "Coffee with cinnamon dolce flavored syrup, blended with milk and ice. Topped with sweetened whipped cream and our cinnamon dolce topping." 

Although the taste buds are more than likely yearning for that cinnamon concoction, the 16-ounce Grande serving with 270 calories with 90 calories from fat will have the waistline a little less excited.

Double Chocolaty Chip Crème Frappuccino Blended Crème

In a 16-ounce (grande) serving, you can consume 420 calories, 20 grams of fat, and 52 grams of sugar. The doubled chocolate does not sound as tempting now, does it?

White Chocolate Mocha

This 20-ounce Venti espresso of that holiday favorite contains 500 calories. 

And while it may packed with 18 grams of protein, the 76 grams of carbohydrate seems to outweigh the amount of protein. The 15 grams of fat does not even include the whipped cream atop…

"Skinny" and "Light" Coffee Drinks

If looking for a healthier cup of joe, implement the following tips when ordering:

• Go for "light" and "skinny" drink items as available

• Try to utilize the sugar-free syrup flavors or resort to only one syrup pump rather than two or three

• Add a splash of milk and sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. to black coffee if desiring a little bit of sweetness

• Switch to one percent or skim milk to limit the overall fat content

• Ask for a smaller dollop of whipped cream

• Order an herbal tea to provide the body with antioxidants without gobs of added sugar

Menus and mobile restaurant applications are also making choices a bit easier, especially for those on-the-go. 

Starbucks® likewise continues to be committed to helping and guiding their consumers to make nutritional choices. The Starbucks® website features a nutrition tab that provides both drink and food nutrition and their relative calorie, fat, carbohydrate, fiber, protein, and sodium content. 

To view the nutrition info, visit

Explore Starbucks Menu.

Written By Christy Zagarella, MS, RDN. Published on February 06, 2016. Updated on March 06, 2019.


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