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Eating Healthier at Starbucks

Note: Whether you’ve had bariatric surgery or not, you’ll likely visit a fast-food or fast-casual restaurant at some point. With our rushed and busy lives, fast food may cross our minds. Often, we can get something to hold us over without destroying the diet, but it’s important to choose right. Speak to your bariatric practice and dietician for guidance…do not rely on this guide alone.

Though Starbucks isn’t often considered fast food, it’s a common staple for many trying to get their caffeine fix, leading to buying and eating some of their other offerings. Whether it’s best before work or between errands, Starbucks is the most popular fast-food restaurant in the world! Unfortunately, like many others, their menu items are packed full of sodium, sugar, and saturated fat. However, some are a great source of fiber and protein – if you know what to look for.

To make it easier for you to eat healthier at Starbucks, we’ve scoured the menu to help you make healthier choices.

What Drinks Should I Avoid?

As a rule, it’s best to limit the options that are packed with sugar. For example, any flavor of Frappuccino is a very high-sugar drink (usually over 50 grams!) Choose sugar-free flavors in your coffee, and opt for fat-free milk instead of cream, to keep the saturated fat low.

Which Foods Should I Avoid?

Double-Smoked Bacon Egg Sandwich
This sandwich has 500 calories and a whopping 27 grams of fat. It’s best to limit any high-fat pastry, like Croissants, as they’re notoriously high in fat.

Chicken, Maple Butter, and Egg Sandwich
The chicken is a misleading ingredient, as it implies a higher protein content. However, the chicken in this sandwich is breaded, meaning it contains extra carbs and fat. In fact, 50% of the calories in this sandwich are fat!

Crispy Grilled Cheese on Sourdough
A popular vegetarian lunch option, this sandwich unfortunately is low on protein and high in calories and saturated fat.

This is a no-brainer, but it bears repeating: avoid the plethora of high-sugar bakery items at the checkout, including Cake Pops, Doughnuts, Cookies and Brownies, Coffee Cake, and Lemon Loaf.

What Are the Healthiest Menu Options?

Thankfully, Starbucks has a wide variety of healthier choices:

  • Turkey Bacon, Cheddar, and Egg White Sandwich
  • Egg, Pesto, and Mozzarella Sandwich
  • Spinach, Feta, and Egg White Wrap
  • Egg White & Roasted Red Pepper Bite
  • Kale & Mushroom Egg Bites
  • Tomato & Mozzarella on Focaccia
  • Protein Boxes (These are ALL great options!)

The menu items above all boast high protein content while being relatively low in saturated fat and sugar. In general, try to keep your meals under 600 calories, which can certainly be possible at Starbucks thanks to the health-conscious portion menu. Always check with your health care team if you’re not sure about your individual nutrition needs.

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