Starbucks Survival Guide (2015)

Apr 17 2015
Starbucks can be a calorie counter's best friend... or worst nightmare. We're taking the guesswork out of guilt-free coffee trips with our Starbucks Survival Guide! Play it safe by sticking with our picks...

Plus, read up on 10 Starbucks Drinks with 100 Calories or Less, and check out our amazing swap for the ultra-popular Pink Drink!

Top Coffee Drink Choices

Because this is why we go to Starbucks in the first place...

Coffee 101 Low-cal no-brainers? Brewed coffee (we love the Blonde Roast), iced coffee (the new small-batch Cold Brew Coffee rocks), and straight-up espresso (when we're feeling really hard-core). But even those drinks can become calorie bombs with the wrong add-ins. Avoid the sugary syrups, whole milk, and packets of sugars. Stick with sugar-free syrup; a splash of nonfat milk, soymilk, or coconut milk; and/or a no-calorie sweetener packet or two. HG tip: Carry packets of your favorite no-cal sweetener with you, just in case the 'Bucks doesn't carry your go-to brand.

Caffè Misto 1 Grande with nonfat milk: 70 calories, 0g fat, 0mg sodium, 10g carbs, 0g fiber, 10g sugars, 7g protein -- PointsPlus® value 2*

This coffee drink consists of brewed coffee mixed with frothy steamed milk... Mmmm! The soymilk version has 100 calories and 3g fat (PointsPlus® value 3*), and the coconut-milk one has 70 calories and 4.5g fat (PointsPlus® value 2*).

Flat White 1 Grande with nonfat milk: 130 calories, 0g fat, 150mg sodium, 19g carbs, 0g fiber, 17g sugars, 12g protein -- PointsPlus® value 3*

One of the newest additions to the SB menu, this is steamed milk and ristretto (a.k.a. extra-strong) espresso. Prefer soymilk? That has 190 calories and 5g fat (PointsPlus® value 5*). A Flat White with coconut milk has 130 calories and 8g fat (PointsPlus® value 4*). Pssst... Try it iced too!

Skinny Flavored Latte 1 Grande: 120 calories, 0g fat, 160mg sodium, 18g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 12g protein -- PointsPlus® value 3*

Let's be real. Made with nonfat milk and sugar-free syrup, the Skinny Flavored Latte is queen of the calorie-conscious Starbucks drinks. So much yum! If you can't shake sweet 'n creamy coffee drinks, this beverage is here for you in a variety of sugar-free flavors, like Cinnamon Dolce and Vanilla. Excellent over ice as well...

Skinny Mocha 1 Grande: 160 calories, 1.5g fat, 140mg sodium, 24g carbs, 4g fiber, 15g sugars, 14g protein -- PointsPlus® value 4*

The slimmed-down mocha sauce here helps keep that calorie count down. Because we all need chocolatey coffee now and then. Bonus: The iced option clocks in at just 100 calories (PointsPlus® value 2*).

Coffee Light Frappuccino Blended Coffee 1 Grande: 110 calories, 0g fat, 0mg sodium, 24g carbs, 0g fiber, 23g sugars, 3g protein -- PointsPlus® value 3*

Frosty frozen frap? Yes, please! There are many Frappuccino flavors to choose from, but this is the lowest-calorie choice in the bunch. Scope out the full lineup if you're looking for something a bit more fancy.

Size Matters... Many of SB's coffee drinks can be ordered in the little-known 8-oz. Short size and all the way up to the 20-oz. Venti. (There's even a 30-oz. Trenta option for cold drinks!) We gave you stats for the nicely sized 16-oz. Grande. Feel free to slash the numbers in half by ordering the shortie. But we don't recommend going Venti or Trenta. Even guilt-free drinks can get out of control when you jumbo-size 'em.

Tea & Fruity Drinks

You can't go wrong with plain hot tea (unless you drown it in whole milk and sugar), but here are some more tasty non-coffee sips to consider...

Teavana Shaken Iced Passion Tango Tea (Unsweetened) 1 Grande: 0 calories, 0g fat, 10mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 0g protein -- PointsPlus® value 0*

This bright red tea is incredibly tasty... You can totally get away with not adding sweetener. And just look at that gorgeous hue!

Teavana Oprah Cinnamon Chai Tea Latte 1 Grande with nonfat milk: 170 calories, 0g fat, 90mg sodium, 33g carbs, 0g fiber, 31g sugars, 7g protein -- PointsPlus® value 4*

Whether you're a chai aficionado or new to the game, chances are you'll love this sweetened cinnamon blend that's topped with steamed milk. The soymilk version has 200 calories and 3g fat (PointsPlus® value 5*), while the coconut-milk one has 170 calories and 4.5g fat (PointsPlus® value 4*). Heads up: Sugar counters might want to skip this pick.

Valencia Orange Refreshers 1 Grande: 90 calories, 0g fat, 20mg sodium, 23g carbs, 0g fiber, 20g sugars, 0g protein -- PointsPlus® value 2*

If you're looking for a sweet fruit drink, here's an under-100-calorie find. Plus, it's boosted with green coffee extract for a little caffeine kick!

The Smoothie Situation... Starbucks' standard smoothies are made with real banana, whey protein, and fiber powder... talk about a recipe for satisfaction! Ordered with nonfat milk, an Orange Mango, Strawberry, or Chocolate smoothie has 260 - 300 calories, 1 - 2.5g fat, 6 - 8g fiber, and 16 - 20g protein (PointsPlus® value 7 - 8*). And the 'Bucks recently debuted Evolution Fresh Smoothies made with Greek yogurt at select locations. In Sweet Greens, Strawberry, and Mango Carrot, each smoothie has 170 - 230 calories and 0 - 0.5g fat, plus 2 - 3g fiber and 7g protein (PointsPlus® value 5 - 6*). Yum city.

Hot Breakfasts

Skip the muffins and bagels! These hot picks are way better...

Classic Whole-Grain Oatmeal 1 bowl, plain: 160 calories, 2.5g fat, 0mg sodium, 28g carbs, 4g fiber, 0g sugars, 5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 4*

Hooray for hot 'n hearty oats! The stats above are for the plain oatmeal, which comes with packets of add-ins: brown sugar (50 calories), dried fruit (100 calories), and a nut medley (100 calories, 10g fat). If you use all three, your oatmeal will clock in at 410 calories and 12.5g fat, so pick and choose...

Hearty Blueberry Whole-Grain Oatmeal 1 bowl: 220 calories, 2.5g fat, 125mg sodium, 43g carbs, 5g fiber, 13g sugars, 5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 5*

This hot cereal is topped with fresh blueberries and agave syrup. (Feel free to skip the agave, and add your sweetener of choice.) There's also this optional topping: a medley of fruit, nuts, and seeds. That adds 70 calories and 3g fat, plus a gram of fiber and 2g protein (PointsPlus® value 2*). Not bad!

Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich 1 sandwich: 230 calories, 6g fat, 560mg sodium, 28g carbs, 2g fiber, 3g sugars, 13g protein -- PointsPlus® value 6*

This is our kind of b-fast, for sure. With reduced-fat white cheddar cheese and an egg-white patty, we love seeing a sandwich like this on a morning menu...

Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap 1 wrap: 290 calories, 10g fat, 830mg sodium, 33g carbs, 6g fiber, 4g sugars, 19g protein -- PointsPlus® value 7*

Cult classic! This egg-white-and-veggie wrap went away for a while, and we were sad. Then it came back, and we were glad. It's the little things that matter, you know?

Grab & Go Picks

Plain fruit? Obviously okay -- grab a banana or one of the coffee shop's Seasonal Harvest Blend Fruit cups for 90 calories. Craving something else? Keep reading...

Greek Yogurt with Berries Parfait 1 parfait: 220 calories, 3g fat, 115mg sodium, 36g carbs, 3g fiber, 19g sugars, 14g protein -- PointsPlus® value 6*

Simple and delicious. Nonfat yogurt, fruit, and a bit of granola. Totally satisfying. Pssst... New Evolution Fresh Greek-yogurt parfaits are on the way, so keep an eye out. Those are higher in calories and fat, with 250 - 280 calories and 7g fat (PointsPlus® value 7*).

Chicken & Hummus Bistro Box 1 box: 270 calories, 7g fat, 580mg sodium, 29g carbs, 4g fiber, 3g sugars, 20g protein -- PointsPlus® value 6*

This is a great option for a quickie lunch! You get the grilled chicken and hummus you'd expect, plus cucumber spears, grape tomatoes, and a little wheat pita. Just right!

Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl 1 salad: 360 calories, 15g fat, 850mg sodium, 38g carbs, 8g fiber, 9g sugars, 19g protein -- PointsPlus® value 9*

This bowl is packed with good stuff: chicken, black beans, roasted corn, jicama, tomatoes, spring greens, quinoa, and feta cheese. WOW. It's served with a little cup of mild chili vinaigrette, so if you want to slash some calories, don't use all that dressing. Dip, don't pour...

Sweet Baked Treats

Most of the items in the bakery case are bad news, but here are a few non-dastardly options for when you need a sweet-tooth fix...

Petite Vanilla Bean Scone 1 scone: 120 calories, 4.5g fat, 95mg sodium, 18g carbs, 0g fiber, 8g sugars, 2g protein -- PointsPlus® value 3*

There used to be more Petite items, but this appears to be the last one standing. Not bad for a mini treat.

Cake Pops 1 cake pop: 140 - 180 calories, 7 - 9g fat, 75 - 120mg sodium, 21 - 25g carbs, 0 - 1g fiber, 15 - 20g sugars, 1 - 2g protein -- PointsPlus® value 4 - 5*

In Birthday, Chocolate, and Salted Caramel, one of these will do the trick for an under-200-calorie indulgence. If you'd rather DIY and save some fat and calories, we've got recipes for that...

Reduced-Fat Shockers: Sweets with reduced-fat in the name may have less fat than conventional versions, but they're still pretty high in calories. Watch out for the Reduced-Fat Berry Coffee Cake with Lemon Crumble (320 calories, 11g fat) and the Reduced-Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake (370 calories, 9g fat).

Your New BFF: The Custom Calculator

Wanna change up the size of your favorite drink, or switch out the milk type? Wondering how the stats on the iced version differ from the numbers on the hot drink? Curious just how many calories the whipped cream adds? (Spoiler alert: A LOT.) Click around on the menu section of the Starbucks website. Make all the adjustments you want, and get instant stats. Love ya, Starbucks!

Chew on this:

Hey, you big cheeseball! Today is your day… Wait, That's not what that means? National Cheeseball Day, April 17th, is about actual balls of cheese? Ah. Pardon us while we celebrate with wheels instead...

We all have a pal (or five) with a serious Starbucks addiction. Click "Send to a Friend" now.


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