While it might seem like a dream of a person with a low carb diet, ordering coffee at Starbucks with ketones (fat) test results, every item on the menu, and for exact measurements of the food is a reality. During the years of 2015 and 2016, Starbucks tried to offer a low carb menu but was not able to reach the level of success that they were aiming for.
A few weeks ago I posted a photo on Instagram that showed a cup of coffee that I had ordered at Starbucks in 2021. How did this work? Because the Starbucks app allows me to find the nearest store and order my coffee from it. This, of course, is just one of many futuristic applications of blockchain technology (the same one that’s powering the bitcoin cryptocurrency) and Artificial Intelligence.
With the keto diet becoming more and more popular, Starbucks is now selling keto-friendly foods. But the company is not following the keto diet. Instead, the coffee chain is using its own formula to calculate the right amounts of carbs and fats for each drink, which is different from the keto diet.
You’ve arrived to the right location. This article will cover all you need to know about keto at Starbucks. It will also show you how to order from the Starbucks menu, which can be complicated at times. I’m sure you’ll find a new favorite among the keto Starbucks beverages mentioned below.
We’ll go over the hidden sugar sources, “slim” alternatives, and adjustments that will ensure your keto-friendly Starbucks drink is a success. Using our detailed instructions, you can find keto-friendly meals on the fly!
Starbucks Keto Drinks: What to Avoid
Do you intend to simply walk into your nearest Starbucks and hope for the best? We admire your self-assurance, but reconsider! Before placing their keto coffee orders, keto dieters should be aware of a few factors. Otherwise, this low-carb diet might be blown in a matter of drinks!
Here’s the lowdown – keep in mind that we’re basing everything on a 16 oz. Grande, not a Venti.
The majority of drinks include sugar.
Sugar is all over the place! No, truly, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that sweetener is in everything since you started the keto diet. The majority of Starbucks drinks contain sugar. The traditional syrup at Starbucks is one obvious location to look for it.
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You’ll find this basic syrup in iced coffee and iced tea, which you’d normally suppose aren’t sweetened. Iced coffee, on the other hand, has 20 grams of sugar! They seem to put this in practically every Starbucks drink, so I always inquire if I’m getting something new. The only item that is completely safe is regular brewed coffee.
Whipped Cream is a no-no.
Whipped cream is fantastic, and there are many of keto options, but it isn’t available in Starbucks drinks. Whipped cream is high in fat, but it also contains sugar and carbohydrates.
Also, stay away from the caramel drizzle.
Steamed milk should be avoided.
Many Starbucks drinks contain steamed milk, which should be avoided. You can ask them to simmer heavy cream for you instead, and they will almost always comply.
Most Starbucks beverages have 1/2 to 1 cup of milk, so if you’re not cautious, the carbs can quickly mount up.
The following table shows how many carbs are in a cup of Starbucks’ various milk alternatives.
Milk’s high sugar content makes it inappropriate for a keto diet in large quantities. You can also request half heavy cream and half water. Half heavy cream and half water is a fantastic milk substitute that decreases carbohydrates significantly.
Unsweetened almond milk is also a suitable dairy milk substitute. If you don’t indicate that you want unsweetened almond milk, you can get the full-carb variety instead.
Coconut milk is another option, albeit it is not always available in an unsweetened form.
Low Carb Doesn’t Mean Skinny
While it would be ideal to walk into Starbucks and buy any “skinny” drink you desire, staying in ketosis isn’t that straightforward. Most skinny beverages have roughly 19g of carbs due to the volume of steamed milk and all those pumps of sugar free vanilla syrup (or your personal favorite flavor).
Starbucks designates drinks as “Skinny” when they are low in calories but rich in carbohydrates.
Carbs are present in sugar-free syrups.
Just because a syrup is sugar-free doesn’t mean it’s also carb-free. Each pump of sugar-free syrup has about 1 net carb and is sweetened with sucralose, an artificial sweetener. Artificial sweeteners are avoided by certain people at all costs. I don’t mind treating myself to a small amount of ketogenic Starbucks every now and then.
It’s critical to mention the number of pumps you want in each drink. Because a grande usually comes with four syrup pumps, you’ll probably want to request one or two instead of relying on your barista.
1g Net Carbs per Pump in Starbucks Sugar-Free Syrups
- Vanilla syrup with no added sugar
- Hazelnut syrup with no added sugar
- Cinnamon Dolce Syrup without Sugar
- Caramel sauce without sugar
- Peppermint without the sugar (seasonally available)
- Mocha sauce that isn’t too fattening.
Starbucks Keto Coffee Drinks
Now that you’ve mastered the fundamentals, let us show you how to order keto Starbucks drinks like a pro. This is a list of some of the more upscale keto Starbucks drinks, but you may always go with something simpler. I prefer brewed coffee with heavy cream and occasionally 1 pump of sugar-free syrup. My favorite roast is the Pike Place Roast.
3g Net Carbs Keto Unsweetened Iced Coffee
For us, nothing beats a low-carb Starbucks iced coffee to get us through the mid-afternoon lull. This is how you should order it:
- No traditional syrup in this grande iced coffee. (You may also use cold brew coffee.)
- Two pumps of any sugar-free syrup you like.
- If you prefer it unflavored, here’s a wonderful liquid Stevia to keep on hand and use as needed.
5.3g Net Carbs in Keto Cinnamon Dolce Latte
This is a basic coffee drink that has been given a ketogenic makeover. This recipe has all the flavor without the insane sweets or carbs:
- Order an Americano, but only with 34% water instead of the full cup.
- In the last 14 minutes, request a generous splash of heavy cream, steamed. This offers you the texture of a creamy latte.
- Last but not least, request two pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup.
5.5g Net Carbs in a Keto Starbucks Frappuccino
The key is to stay away from the liquid Frappuccino base, which is simply a glob of gloopy sugar. However, you can still hit the spot for a few more carbs than these other drinks without having to pay the price of 70-something grams of carbs! Here’s our take on it:
- Request an iced coffee with additional ice and no traditional syrup.
- Next, order three shots of your sugar-free syrup of choice (yeah, we’re getting insane).
- Three shots of heavy cream are now required.
- You’ll need to have the baristas combine it into a frappuccino. It’s worth repeating that no frappe base or syrups are required.
- Simply refuse any drizzles, whipped cream, or other tempting treats. You’ve got this!
5.3g Net Carbs in Keto Mocha
The chocolatey sweetness of mocha can’t be ignored, as everyone knows. Because a “skinny mocha” is still rich in carbs and sugar, here’s what to get instead to stay on the keto diet:
- Order an Americano with 34 percent water and 14 percent heavy cream (your new go-to keto latte or cappuccino base).
- Request a mocha without whipped cream or vanilla syrup; yes, a mocha contains both mocha sauce and vanilla syrup.
- If you want a Christmas treat, ask for 2 pumps of skinny mocha sauce and one pump of sugar-free peppermint — just add 1g net carbs.
Flat White Keto
This is what I order on weekends when I want to do something different. “Steamed flat white with no steamed milk, half heavy cream, half water.” A flat white is a refreshing alternative to brewed coffee. If desired, drizzle with sugar-free syrup.
Starbucks Tea Drinks with Low Carbs
You can’t bear the thought of having to give up your favorite hot tea or refresher? There are lots of keto drinks for tea drinkers, so don’t worry.
4.5g Net Carbs Keto Starbucks Pink Drink
If you’ve heard of the Pink Drink, you undoubtedly enjoy it, which is why it’s included in our keto Starbucks roundup. Here’s how to make a Starbucks Pink Drink that’s low in carbs. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you,
- Request an iced grande Passion Tango. Make careful you don’t say anything about traditional syrup!
- Request two shots of heavy whipping cream (not a squirt).
- Request 2 pumps of sugar-free vanilla extract.
- You can also add some of our favorite MCT oil for an extra dose of keto bliss.
5.3g Net Carbs in Keto London Fog
Who doesn’t enjoy the richness of a London Fog and the flavour of Earl Grey tea? Nobody. Here’s how to get your hands on this season’s must-have:
- Request an Earl Grey tea bag (or two, if you’re feeling very brave).
- You’ll also need 34 oz. hot water and 14 oz. heavy whipping cream, just like a keto latte.
- Finally, request that two pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup be substituted for the standard vanilla syrup.
3.7g Net Carbs Keto Chai Tea Latte
The spicy goodness of a Chai Tea latte is well-known among tea drinkers. A normal Chai tea latte, on the other hand, has roughly 60g of carbs due to the sugar syrups and carb-heavy milk.
Here’s how to make a keto switch that’s under 4g net carbs:
- Make sure you get the tea bag and not the Chai tea syrup. This step is critical for reducing carbs in this drink. (It can also be used to make a green tea latte.)
- Two ounces of heavy whipping cream is also required.
- Finally, two pumps of sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup enhance the tea’s flavor.
- Variations: add a slug of espresso to make it a “dirty chai,” or request two tea bags for added spice.
You can also use a herbal tea to alter up the order.
The White Keto Drink
This is thought to be a hidden menu item by some. Others think it’s the best-tasting of all the Starbucks low-carb drinks. This is a unique menu item (or perhaps just a popular special order) that features unsweetened peach citrus white tea. The unsweetened peach citrus white tea is topped with heavy cream and 2-4 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup. Simply request light ice and you’ll be good to go.
You can also request that the Keto White Drink be mixed!
Keto Food from Starbucks
While most Starbucks food, such as pastries and cake pops, is off-limits, there are a few things you can eat in a pinch. (If you can’t wait till you get home, try some of our keto-friendly delights like keto cinnamon rolls or keto bread.) If you can’t, here are a couple keto Starbucks snack options.
Try an Eggs & Cheese Protein box, but stick to the eggs and cheese only. You could also try the Cheese & Fruit Protein Box and only eat the cheese. As you can see, this isn’t the easiest place to eat on the ketogenic diet.
Are the Sous Vide Egg Bites from Starbucks Keto-Friendly?
Somewhat. The Bacon and Gruyere have 2g of sugar, 20g of fat, and 9g of carbs. The Egg White and Red Pepper bites or Ham, Cheddar & Peppers are slightly higher in carbs, but still acceptable for some people. While this isn’t ideal, if you are intentional in the rest of your meals, this won’t automatically bust your keto diet.
The Chicken Chorizo Tortilla, on the other hand, should be avoided at all costs. These have tortilla strips in them! Honestly, one of our favorite keto cereals could be a better option.
Cheese from the Moon
Moon cheese is a type of cheese that comes in small crispy pieces that can be eaten like potato chips. They don’t go well with coffee, but if you’re in a hurry and don’t have any other options, pick up a bag of moon cheese. It’s one of the better keto food alternatives at Starbucks.
Tray of Charcuterie
This is the food item that we get the most of. It’s a combination of meats and cheeses that’s rather good. The disadvantage is that this dish is rather pricey and likely of poor quality. The charcuterie tray is our top choice among the menu options.
When eating out, the greatest advice is to converse with the staff to ensure that you are getting exactly what you want. At Starbucks, ordering keto-friendly drinks is simple, and almost everything on the menu can be customized to meet your needs. From black coffee with a dash of heavy cream to elegant almond milk latte’s, there’s something for everyone.
- While there are many possibilities for a Starbucks keto treat, it’s vital to be careful of the sugar and carb sources hiding within them.
- Ask for no classic syrup, no milk, no whipped cream, and no more than two or three pumps of sugar-free syrup.
- Stick to cheeses or the Bacon and Gruyere Egg Bites at Starbucks because snacks are few and far between. It may be preferable to eat at home in this case.
- Thankfully, we’ve discovered a variety of ways to satisfy our coffee or tea cravings while on the keto diet. Low-carb Starbucks ordering takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, it’s simple!
- You can start designing your own Starbucks goodies, keto-style, with these tools and a good look at Starbucks’ nutritional information.
Schiffman, S. S., & Rother, K. I. (2013). Sucralose, a synthetic organochlorine sweetener: overview of biological issues. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part B, 16(7), 399-451. Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24219506
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I order at Starbucks for Keto?
You can order a low-carb, high-fat, ketogenic coffee.
How do you order a keto White at Starbucks?
You can order a keto White at Starbucks by asking for a white coffee.
How many carbs are in Starbucks heavy cream?
There are about 7 grams of carbs in a tablespoon of heavy cream.
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