Craving more than just coffee? Here’s how to eat healthy at Starbucks when you’re following a diabetic diet.
If you’ve stopped into a Starbucks recently (and who hasn’t!) you’ve probably noticed that there’s far more than coffee available at the ubiquitous cafes. Whether you’re looking for a light bite or a sweet indulgence, you can find a food to satisfy pretty much any craving. Even better for those watching their carbs and calories—many of these options just happen to be healthy for diabetes too. (Here are good indicators you’re eating a diabetes-friendly breakfast.)
If you’re managing diabetes, your ideal meal will have around 400-500 calories, 45-60 grams of carbohydrates, and fewer than 10 percent of its calories from saturated fat. It will also help you make a dent in your daily fiber goal: 25 grams for women and 38 for men. (Here’s more on why fiber is so healthy for managing diabetes.) Keeping sodium to a minimum is also important, since the American Heart Association recommends getting no more than 2,300 mg per day (restaurant meals are notoriously high in sodium; be sure to keep salt extra low the rest of the day any time you eat out).
Here are seven of the best meals at Starbucks we could find for people with diabetes—with plenty of room in your carb and calorie budget to caffeinate, of course!
1. Spinach, Feta & Cage-Free Egg White Breakfast Wrap + Tall Cappuccino (made with 2% milk)
This protein-packed wrap will start your day on the right foot with a good balance of nutrients, plus you’ll even get some veggies in—not bad for before 9 a.m.! And the relatively low calorie count means you can pair it with a milky coffee drink.
Nutrition information: 380 calories, 13.5 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 35 mg cholesterol, 1010 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber,12 g sugar, 25 g protein
2. Sous Vide Egg Bites: Egg White & Red Pepper + Small Banana + Grande Iced Cafe Latte (made with 2% milk)
These breakfast bites are cooked using the French “sous vide” technique, which helps seal in moisture and give the eggs a creamy texture. They’re also a grain-free option—a rare find at a coffee shop—which means you can add in some carbs in the form of an iced latte and a banana. (Yes, the carbs in bananas are the healthy kind for you.)
Nutrition information: 390 calories, 11.5 g fat, 7.5 g saturated fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 615 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g fiber, 25 g sugar, 22 g protein
3. Egg & Cheese Protein Box
If you’re looking for a nosh with lots of variety, a protein box is the way to go. This meat-free offering provides plenty of protein, thanks to hard-boiled eggs, cheese and peanut butter, as well as fiber from fruit (apple slices and grapes), and a whole-grain pita. (Here are other healthy protein choices for a diabetic diet.) Since the calories are on the higher side, you’ll want to stick with a low or no-cal beverage like an unsweetened iced or hot tea, or a coffee with just a splash of milk.
Nutrition information: 460 calories, 24 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 385 mg cholesterol, 530 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 21 g sugar, 23 g protein
4. PB & J Protein Box
Between the bread and sugary jelly, a good ol’ PB and J can easily put you over your carb limits for the meal. Thankfully, this box gives you just a half sandwich so you have room for other snacks, too—including a string cheese, veggies and dip, apple slices, and chocolate-covered raisins. The box does go slightly over your ideal calorie quota, however, so share half of the chocolate raisins with your kids or a friend (guaranteed they won’t complain).
Nutrition information: 520 calories, 26 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 570 mg sodium, 53 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 29 g sugar, 20 g protein (including all of the raisins)
5. Chicken & Quinoa Protein Bowl with Black Beans and Greens
Skip the salad joint where they ladle on way too much dressing in favor of this just-right portion-controlled option at Starbucks. You can get a drink with this one, but stick low-cal ones like iced tea or iced coffee—or, of course, water—to keep your calories and carbs in a healthy range.
Nutrition information: 420 calories, 17 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 1,030 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 27 g protein
6. Egg Salad Sandwich
Starbucks sells a range of sandwiches that can fit into your diabetes-friendly diet. This egg salad one, however, wins points for being made on a hearty whole-grain bread and being topped with peppery arugula—the combination provides 7 grams of filling, blood-sugar balancing fiber, more than any other of the sandwich offerings.
Nutrition information: 480 calories, 27 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 320 mg cholesterol, 860 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 16 g protein
7. Turkey & Havarti Sandwich
This Starbucks sandwich is also a winner. It’s made on whole grain bread, and the turkey and Havarti cheese are satisfying toppings. It’s also a more reasonable (read: blood-sugar friendly) size than many jumbo turkey sandwiches you’d get at a deli or sandwich joint.
Nutrition information: 460 calories, 21 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 80 mg cholesterol, 940 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 29 g protein