Like most large scale “fast food” chains, Starbucks has plenty of menu items that can get you into trouble health-wise. It’s easy to consume a day’s worth of sugar or more with just one of their specialty drinks. But, Starbucks nutrition facts have improved in recent years.
Starbucks opened in 1971 with a single store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Today they have nearly 18,000 retail stores in over 60 countries. They offer over 30 different blends of coffee and teas, as well as foods like baked pastries, sandwiches, salads, oatmeal, yogurt parfaits, and fruit cups.
On their website, Starbucks posts nutrition facts and links for “Delicious Drinks Under 200 Calories” and “Favorite Foods Under 350 Calories”. This is a good start at educating people about healthier choices. However, all calories are not created equal, and just because something is low in calories doesn’t mean it’s low in sugar, refined carbohydrates, salt, and/or fat.
Here are some of the worst things on Starbucks’ menu.
Food and Drinks to Avoid
Starbucks offers several drinks that would make a nutritionist cringe. Their Grande Iced Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha has 500 calories, 13 grams of saturated fat, and 55 grams of sugar … about two day’s worth of added sugar! A Grande White Hot Chocolate will set you back 420 calories, 8 grams of saturated fat, and 61 grams of sugar. And the Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino Blended Beverage (Grande) has 500 calories, 13 grams of saturated fat, and 52 grams of sugar!
The best drinks to order are plain-old coffee or tea, sweetened with Splenda and skim milk, if you so desire. If you do decide to indulge in one of their specialty drinks, opt for the “Short” or “Skinny” option.
I’m pleasantly surprised with Starbucks’ decision to offer healthier menu options in recent years. But there are still some things on the menu to steer clear of. For example, the Banana Nut Loaf has 490 calories, 19 grams of fat, and 46 grams of sugar.
What about the Blueberry Scone, which sounds somewhat healthy, right? It comes in at 460 calories, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 420 mg of sodium, and 61 grams of carbs. And a single Old-Fashioned Glazed donut tips the scales at 420 calories, 10 grams of saturated fat, and 34 grams of sugar.
Looking for a healthy breakfast sandwich at Starbucks? Stay away from the Sausage & Cheddar Classic Breakfast sandwich. It has 500 calories, 28 grams of fat, and 920 mg of sodium.
Instead, stick with yogurt, oatmeal, fresh fruit, sandwiches, or the “Bistro Boxes.”
Now let’s take a look at the Starbucks nutrition facts and healthy menu options.
Starbucks Nutrition Facts for the Healthiest Menu Items
• Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon, White Cheddar & Cage-Free Egg White Classic Breakfast Sandwich: 320 calories, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 700 mg sodium, 18 g protein
• Spinach, Feta & Cage-Free Egg White Breakfast Wrap: 290 calories, 10 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 830 mg sodium, 19 g protein
• Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal: 140 calories, 2.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 105 mg sodium, 5 g protein, 4 g fiber
• Turkey & Swiss Sandwich: 390 calories, 13 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 1180 mg sodium, 34 g protein
• Ham and Swiss Panini: 360 calories, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 870 mg sodium, 28 g protein
• Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Panini: 390 calories, 18 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 630 mg sodium, 15 g protein
• Roasted Vegetable Panini: 350 calories, 12 g fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 770 mg sodium, 13 g protein
• Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwich: 420 calories, 13 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 1000 mg sodium, 32 g protein
• Chicken & Hummus Bistro Box: 270 calories, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 520 mg sodium, 16 g protein, 6 g fiber
• Chicken Lettuce Wraps Bistro Box: 360 calories, 19 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 1150 mg sodium, 17 g protein, 4 g fiber
• Chipotle Chicken Wraps Bistro Box: 380 calories, 15 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 970 mg sodium, 26 g protein, 6 g fiber
• Protein Bistro Box: 380 calories, 19 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 470 mg sodium, 13 g protein, 5 g fiber
• Tuna Salad: 380 calories, 21 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 780 mg sodium, 23 g protein, 5 g fiber
• Deluxe Fruit Blend: 80 calories, 0 g fat, 10 mg sodium
• All plain coffees and teas (with Splenda and skim milk)
• Strawberry Smoothie with Nonfat Milk: 290 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 125 mg sodium, 41 g sugar, 16 g protein
View the complete list of Starbucks Nutrition facts by going to their website.
Bottom Line: Starbucks has come a long way compared to other restaurants. Their decision to focus more on nutrition by removing high fructose corn syrup and artificial trans fats, flavors and dyes from their foods and drinks was a big step. Starbucks is focusing more on making ethical business decisions about where their foods are sourced from. And, they continue to make strides to offer healthier choices for those of us who care about what we put in our body. Most of the Bistro Boxes offer a solid combination of whole grains, protein, fresh fruits, and/or vegetables.
Starbucks still has some work to do, but compared to other restaurants, they’re definitely ahead of the curve.