. Lowest Carb Starbucks Drinks: The Best Options to Consider to Prevent a Blood Sugar Rollercoaster |

Lowest Carb Starbucks Drinks: The Best Options to Consider to Prevent a Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

Do you or your teen (or tween) with Diabetes have an addiction to Starbucks?  If so, you are not alone!  Treating myself to a delicious Starbucks drink is one of my favorite morning rituals.  Luckily, there are many low carb Starbucks drink options available.

Unfortunately, Starbucks has gotten rid of many of their sugar free syrups and sauces in recent years (RIP Skinny Peppermint Mocha ☹️), however with the right tweaks there are still plenty of options that won’t wreck havoc on our blood sugars.

Many beverage choices at Starbucks can contain high amounts of added sugar and sneaky hidden carbohydrates.  In fact, a grande caramel frappuccino contains a whopping 54 grams of sugar and 55 grams of total carbohydrates!  

While this does not mean a frappuccino is off limits for those of us with diabetes, we can easily do some tweaking to our orders to drastically lower the amount of sugar and carbs to make them more diabetes friendly. There are even keto options at Starbucks if that is something you are looking for.

So what are the best options for someone with diabetes to order?  Continue reading to find out!

Lowest Carb Starbucks drinks choices

Below is a list of our top choices that do not contain any carbs or added sugar, therefore will help you avoid a blood sugar roller coaster.

Coffee options

  • Brewed coffee (black)- if you are a fan of black coffee, you can’t go wrong!  While the caffeine may have a small impact on your blood sugar, there are no added carbs or sugar to worry about. Starbucks has several different blends available so there is something for everyone.
  • Caffe Americano – this may sound fancy, but it is just a shot of espresso topped with hot water.  Another great carb free option!
  • Nitro cold brew – Nitro cold brew is made with the Starbucks signature Cold Brew infused with nitrogen as it pours from the tap. Nitrogen infusion creates microbubbles, giving the coffee a frothy texture.  
  • Iced coffee – if the texture of the nitro cold brew is not your jam, you can also order an iced coffee.

Tea options

  • Iced tea (unsweetened) – Starbucks has several delicious iced tea options.  Our personal favorite is the Iced Passion Tango Tea which has no carbs – just make sure to order it unsweetened. 
  • Hot tea – Starbucks is not lacking in hot tea options either.  Emperor’s Clouds & Mist is a great option that is a slightly sweet tasting green tea that is naturally carb free.

Other options

  • Venti ice water – no explanation needed – can’t go wrong here!

Tips for customizing your favorite Starbucks drinks

So what if you don’t like any of the options listed above or you are in the mood for something a little fancier?  There are modifications you can make to help lower the amount of sugar in your favorite drink choices.

  • Ask for sugar-free syrup instead of regular syrup (vanilla is currently the only sugar free option.  Starbucks, if you are reading this PLEASE bring back some of your previous sugar free flavors, including the sugar free mocha sauce!)
  • Use almond milk or coconut milk to reduce the carbs (the almond milk contains 5 grams of carbs per cup and the coconut milk contains 8 grams of carb per cup which is lower than cow’s milk which contains 12 grams of carb per cup.)
  • Order a smaller size drink which will naturally have fewer pumps of sugary syrup and less milk.
  • Split a drink with a friend or family member.
  • If you are not a fan of the sugar free sweetener options available, bring your own.
  • Ask for less pumps of syrup in your drink if you prefer the regular syrup.  Starbucks typically puts three pumps of syrup in a tall latte, four in a grande, and five in a venti.  Each pump of syrup contains 5 grams of carbs.  Try cutting back to 1-2 pumps to get a subtle flavor with much less sugar.
  • Add Cinnamon Or Cocoa Powder – A sugar-free way to add some flavor.
  • Check out the online menu. Starbucks is always adding new beverage options.  If you’re concerned about ingredients or nutrition information, Starbucks provides comprehensive nutrition information on their app and website.
  • If you have a complicated order that you are nervous about ordering or you are in a rush, we highly recommend you order using the Starbucks app!  This way you are sure to get the order right and it will save you time.

Watch out for hidden carbs!

Below are some things to watch out for that may not be on your radar but could be adding quite a bit of sugar to your drinks.

  • Whipped cream – While heavy cream is fairly low in carbs, whipped cream contains added sugar.
  • Sweet drinks – Sweet drinks such as Frappuccinos, mochas, lattes, and steamers are generally very high in carbs and sugar if ordered as is.
  • Added sweeteners – Added sweeteners such as regular (non-sugar free) syrups, mocha sauce, pumpkin sauce, caramel, white chocolate, liquid cane sugar, or honey all contain a high amount of added sugar.
  • Fancy toppings – Toppings such as chocolate shavings, cookie crumbles, or specialty “foams” can also add some additional carbohydrates.
  • Lemonades, juices, or smoothies – Even though we may think of some of these items as “healthy”, all of these options contain a lot of sugar.  


Knowing what to order at Starbucks can feel very overwhelming.  One wrong choice and your blood sugar could be spiraling for the remainder of the day, leaving you feeling sluggish and frustrated.  

While we have listed our top low carb Starbucks drink choices and some modifications you can make to your drink to help reduce the sugar and carbs, please remember that there is nothing wrong with treating yourself to your favorite drink once in a while!

If you’d like more information on carb counting, hidden carbs, and how to dose insulin based on the amount of carbohydrates your food or drink contains, check out our post all about Carb Counting.

What is your favorite blood sugar friendly Starbucks drink?  Share your tips in the comments for customizing Starbucks drinks to make them more diabetes-friendly!

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