Whether you’re on the keto diet, cutting back on calories or trying to curb your daily sugar intake, you may find that coffee is the easiest place to shave off a few grams. (How many times have you heard someone say, “don’t drink your calories?”) If you start your day with a trip to Starbucks, you may be wondering what low-sugar options are on the menu, because your go-to venti caramel macchiato with extra drizzle unfortunately isn’t. Read on for 18 low-sugar and sugar-free drinks at Starbucks to try instead, plus advice from Dr. Felicia Stoler, DCN, a registered dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist, regarding zero-calorie sweeteners.

RELATED: The 10 Best Keto Starbucks Drinks to Order

sugar free drinks at starbucks are there sugar free drinks at starbucks
Starbucks

Are There Any Sugar-Free Drinks at Starbucks?

Yes. Unsweetened coffee, tea and espresso are all naturally sugar free. If you don’t like your drinks black, you can always supplement the flavor with a zero-calorie sweetener (such as Splenda) to make it more your taste without increasing the sugar content. But Stoler cautions against doing this on a regular basis.

“[Sugar-free sweeteners] are the only thing I don’t recommend or advocate the use of because while they’re lower in calories, their repeated use alters our body’s taste perception,” she explains. While they’re considered safe for consumption, she has concerns. “There are no studies that have proven that using these products has had any improvement in human health, they may impact the gut microbiome negatively, and I would argue that since their introduction into the food supply in the 1990s…we see more incidence of type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer,” she argues. “While there are not necessarily any studies to show causation per se, it would be irresponsible to give these sweeteners a complete pass and dismiss the hypothesis that they may cause harm [to] humans.”

Rather than satiating our sweet tooth with sugar substitutes, Stoler says we should try decreasing our drive for sweet drinks in general and drink unsweetened coffee or teas instead…or just treat yourself to real sugar mindfully. “I used to tell a friend that her ‘regular coffee’ [with] cream and sugar…had as many calories and [as much] fat as a donut...and that she may find chewing the donut more satisfying,” she adds.

sugar free drinks at starbucks does starbucks have any sugar free lattes
Starbucks

Does Starbucks Have Any Sugar-Free Lattes?

While the chain offers some sugar-free flavor syrups that contain no sugar, all of their milks contain some. So, you can totally get a low-sugar latte at Starbucks, but it’d be impossible to get one that’s totally sugar free. In terms of dairy milk, whole, 2 percent and skim each contain about 12 grams of naturally occurring sugar per 8-ounce serving, although they differ in the calorie department. (Keep in mind that a Starbucks Tall is 12 ounces—you’d have to order a Short for eight.) As for non-dairy alternatives, Starbucks has four options, all of which contain added sugar and additives. Nevertheless, they contain less sugar per cup than dairy milk—almond with 3 grams, oat with 7 grams, coconut with about 8 grams and soy with about 10 grams.

Nevertheless, Stoler stresses that regular dairy milk has a more complete nutrient profile than non-dairy milks (hi, protein), and you don’t always know exactly what’s in the alternative milk you’re ordering at a café. “Most…are laden with additives that I personally would prefer not to consume,” she says. “I'm a huge advocate for consuming foods closer to the way they are found in nature.”

So, keep this in mind before you place your order, and feel free to ask the barista to show you the ingredients and nutrition facts for the non-dairy milk in your drink. At the end of the day, moderation is key, whether we’re talking zero-calorie substitutes or plain old sugar. “Sugar has been demonized more so than anything else,” says Stoler. “Humans have consumed sugar for thousands of years. Our bodies can process it.”

Read on for 18 low-sugar and sugar-free drinks at Starbucks. (Note: All the below nutritional information is for Grande-sized drinks made with 2 percent milk, unless otherwise noted, as that is the only nutritional information Starbucks makes available on its website.)

18 Low-Sugar and Sugar-Free Drinks at Starbucks

sugar free drinks at starbucks hot coffee
Starbucks

1. Hot Coffee

Nutrition information: 5 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

If you can get down with a bitter, roasty drip coffee that doesn’t contain any added milk or sugar, this is the best sugar-free option. If you need it a tad sweeter, add a splash of milk or a dash of zero-calorie sweetener. You can also ask the barista for a pump or two of sugar-free flavor syrup if you’d prefer.

sugar free drinks at starbucks iced coffee
Starbucks

2. Iced Coffee

Nutrition information: 5 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Same goes for drip coffee’s cold alternative. The Starbucks menu defaults to adding Classic syrup (aka simple syrup) to their iced coffee, so be sure to remove it before you order on the app.

sugar free drinks at starbucks cold brew
Starbucks

3. Cold Brew

Nutrition information: 5 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Like iced coffee, cold brew contains no calories or sugar. The main differences are that it’s higher in caffeine and smoother in flavor. So, save this one for a morning when you’re feeling particularly groggy.

sugar free drinks at starbucks espresso shots
Starbucks

4. Espresso Shots

Nutrition information: 10 calories, 0g fat, 2g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Order a doppio for a quick bev that you’ll shoot back in a flash. (A nuanced two-ounce espresso might be easier to swallow than eight ounces of black coffee.)

sugar free drinks at starbucks espresso macchiato
Starbucks

5. Espresso Macchiato

Nutrition information: 15 calories, 0g fat, 2g carbs, 0g sugar, 1g protein

It’s a far cry from the sugar-laden Caramel Macchiato (which is really an upside-down vanilla latte with caramel drizzle…but we digress), but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. The Espresso Macchiato is a Euro-style drink that calls for shot of espresso topped with just a dollop of steamed milk and foam.

sugar free drinks at starbucks espresso con panna
Starbucks

6. Espresso Con Panna

Nutrition information: 35 calories, 2½g fat, 2g carbs, 0g sugar, 1g protein

If you need a little something to make the shots palatable, go for the espresso con panna. It’s crowned with whipped cream, which contains sugary vanilla syrup, but it’s such a small amount that the sugar remains at zero grams.

sugar free drinks at starbucks americano
Starbucks

7. Caffè Americano

Nutrition information: 15 calories, 0g fat, 2g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

A hot Americano is a simple mix of espresso shots and water, so it’s naturally sugar-free. If you treat it like a drip coffee and finish it with a dash or two of milk, the sugar will be minimal.

sugar free drinks at starbucks iced americano
Starbucks

8. Iced Caffè Americano

Nutrition information: 15 calories, 0g fat, 2g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Give its cool cousin the same treatment and you’re good to go. (If you really want it sweet, try a single pump of regular or sugar-free syrup first—you might not need as much as you think.)

sugar free drinks at starbucks hot tea
Starbucks

9. Hot Tea

Nutrition information: 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Whether you’re on team Royal English Breakfast or Peach Tranquility, any hot tea from Starbucks is free of sugar, as long as you don’t order a latte. (In case you’re wondering, the beloved chai tea latte packs a whopping 42 grams of sugar per 16-ounce serving.)

sugar free drinks at starbucks black tea
Starbucks

11. Iced Black Tea

Nutrition information: 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

If you ensure that your tea is unsweetened (meaning there’s no Classic syrup in it), this bev is totally calorie- and sugar-free. Their iced black tea also contains 25 milligrams of caffeine in a 16-ounce serving.

sugar free drinks at starbucks green tea
Starbucks

11. Iced Green Tea

Nutrition information: 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Resist the urge to add Peach syrup to this refreshing sipper and you’re in the clear.

sugar free drinks at starbucks passion tea
Starbucks

12. Iced Passion Tea

Nutrition information: 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g protein

Say it ain’t so: Lemonade, albeit a delicious addition to this herbal hibiscus number, adds 11 grams of sugar to your Grande Passion Tea. Nix it (or substitute a squeeze of lemon juice) and it’ll be sugar-free.

sugar free drinks at starbucks caffe misto
Starbucks

13. Caffè Misto

Nutrition information: 110 calories, 4g fat, 10g carbs, 10g sugar, 7g protein

Think of this bev—a 50/50 split of drip coffee and steamed milk—as a less expensive cheater’s latte. If you order the default Grande size with 2 percent milk, the drink contains 10 grams of sugar. But you can make it less sweet by opting for a smaller size and non-dairy milk (although you’ll lose the protein along with the sugar).

sugar free drinks at starbucks flat white
Starbucks

14. Hot or Iced Flat White

Nutrition information: 150 calories, 8g fat, 13g carbs, 11g sugar, 0g protein

Thanks to the ice taking up precious cup space, the Iced Flat White (which is a blend of smooth ristretto espresso shots and whole milk) has 2 less grams of sugar than a hot flat white. Order a Short size and substitute almond milk to get the sugar as low as possible.

sugar free drinks at starbucks cappuccino
Starbucks

15. Cappuccino

Nutrition information: 140 calories, 5g fat, 14g carbs, 12g sugar, 0g protein

The milk in a cappuccino is steamed longer than it is for a latte, because the drink requires a thicker layer of foam. As a result, less milk is required to fill the same size cup, meaning it contains less sugar.

sugar free drinks at starbucks latte
Starbucks

16. Caffè Latte

Nutrition information: 190 calories, 7g fat, 19g carbs, 18g sugar, 0g protein

A regular Grande latte with no added sugar will still put you back 18 grams, but you can lower that number by getting a smaller size or opting for non-dairy milk. (A note on tea lattes: The Matcha, London Fog and Royal English Breakfast all contain 21 grams or more of sugar, since their default recipes are made with flavor syrups or sweetened tea blends.)

sugar free drinks at starbucks iced latte
Starbucks

17. Iced Caffè Latte

Nutrition information: 130 calories, 4½g fat, 13g carbs, 11g sugar, 0g protein

Once again, ice cubes save the day—as well as 7 grams of sugar. If you don’t want to use nondairy milk and insist on a Grande, simply ordering it cold instead of hot will get the number down.

sugar free drinks at starbucks latte w sugar free syrup
Starbucks

18. Hot or Iced Latte with Sugar-Free Syrup

Nutrition information: 130 to 190 calories, 4½ to 7g fat, 13 to 19g carbs, 11 to 18g sugar, 0g protein

If you order 2 percent milk and a Grande, your sugar-free latte will contain 11 to 18 grams of naturally occurring sugar. Spiking it with sugar-free syrup will add flavor, but no calories, and you can lower the sugar content further by choosing a smaller size or non-dairy milk.

RELATED: 10 Sugar-Free Drinks at Dunkin’ Donuts That Are Just as Tasty as Your Usual Order

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