No matter where you are, there is probably a Starbucks nearby (thank god). Which is great because they have a plethora of drink options and readily available nutrition facts for everything on the menu. This makes a type 1 diabetic’s life incredibly easier when trying to keep our blood sugar in check. Having it be so easy for me to lose track of carbohydrates when I drink them, mixed with being a below average carb counter, I naturally end up sipping on something that won’t require a huge spike in my numbers.
As an avid diabetic Starbucks drinker for many years, I have narrowed down a list for my go-to iced drinks that won’t (completely) ruin your blood sugar.
Just a few notes – All options below are ordered as a Venti (but use your personal preference on stevias and pumps, etc. I am clearly a stevia lady, but if you prefer unsweetened, go without). All nutrition facts were pulled directly from the Starbucks website. (For a Venti, Starbucks says their almond milk is 2g of carbohydrates, and their coconut milk is 3g. Additionally, I calculated matcha and chai grams by working backward from the total number of carbohydrates, subtracting the milk grams, and dividing by the 6 pumps/shots for a Vente, and multiplying by 2) (I also realize there’s an easier way to go about that calculation but gimme a break ok being diabetic is hard enough)
My Free Option: Iced Tea
I LOVE a good iced tea. There’s nothing like a subtle pick-me-up on a hot day like an unsweetened iced tea. You know what’s great about unsweetened iced tea? There are no carbohydrates in it!
- Iced Unsweetened Green Tea
- Light Water (Starbucks adds water to their ice teas to dilute it. Asking for light water makes the tea stronger)
- 2 Stevias (Optional)
- Splash of Passion Tea – literally just a splash
- Total: 0g of Carbohydrates
My Usual: Iced Coffee
Everyone needs a staple drink. A go-to. A drink your friend can memorize for those days she wants to grab you coffee before work. This is mine:
- Iced Coffee (Or cold brew – I am just cheap and would rather pay less)
- Almond Milk
- 2 Stevias (Optional)
- Total: 2g of Carbohydrates
My Thrifty Choice: Matcha
My friend introduced me to this drink and I fell in love. It is an updated version of the popular matcha latte, but a little less heavy so that you don’t ever have to second guess if milk was a bad choice.
- Unsweetened white tea
- 2 scoops of matcha (normally a vente would have 6, but in reality why does anyone need that much matcha? Also, carbs.)
- Splash of coconut milk
- 2 Stevias
- Total: 12g of Carbohydrates
My Splurge: Dirty Chai
When I am feeling saucy, perfect blood sugars all day, winning left and right, earned my free drink reward at Starbucks so I don’t have to pay $6 for a drink….. I am getting a dirty chai. Just take your insulin 15 minutes prior to drinking and you’ll be fine.
- Chai Latte
- 2 pumps of Chai (regular is 6 pumps)
- Almond milk
- 2 shots of espresso (or leave out the espresso for a regular chai)
- Cinnamon on top (regulates blood sugar – heyyy)
- Total: 20g of Carbohydrates
All of my options are completely customizable and just a few of my personal favorites. If you have a low-carb Starbucks go-to drink, please let me know! I am always growing my list of ‘no-insulin required’ options and would love to hear about how you hack the system at your local coffee shop.