The ketogenic diet is popular for many reasons. It boasts loads of potential health benefits by utilizing fats as your main energy source as opposed to carbohydrates. This converts your body to a state of ketosis which helps avoid blood glucose spikes that can lead to insulin resistance.
The only way to adhere to this diet is to adopt a strict avoidance of all things carb-laden and unfortunately, this means a lot of your favorite Starbucks drinks options. A skinny mocha isn’t a keto drink as this still contains mocha sauce which is high in sugar. A venti, classic coffee frappuccino contains a whopping 59g of sugar so it’s easy to see how quickly the Starbucks menu can lead you away from your keto diet.
To give you some inspiration, here are 18 drink options that aren’t packed with sugar. There are ways to modify a lot of these options to keep them low in carbs. Swap out 2% milk for half and half, heavy cream, soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk, and ask for no classic syrup, opt for sugar-free vanilla syrup instead. Watch out for sugary toppings and added sweeteners and there you have it!
1. Espresso Con Panna
One of the best keto coffee options on the Starbucks menu has to be espresso con Panna. This is a single or double shot of espresso served with a splash of heavy cream on top. It’s simple, tasty, high in fat, and low in carbs. A perfect keto pick-me-up.
2. Caffe Americano
Nothing beats an Americano when it comes to keto-friendly drink options. Half espresso and half water it has no sneaky, sugary extras. Enjoyed black it’s virtually calorie-free but packed full of anti-oxidants and enough caffeine to get you buzzed for the day. It’s best to avoid added sugar if you’re trying to keep it low carb but if the drink is lacking something sweet, try a sprinkle of cinnamon or ask for soy or almond milk to add to it.
3. Caffe Misto
Equal parts black coffee and steamed milk, the cafe misto can be pushed towards the keto category if you ask for half and half or heavy cream instead of 2% milk. Other, low carb milk options include almond, soy, and coconut milk and these can easily substitute into your Starbucks order.
The rich texture of a cappuccino is another Starbucks drink that can be modified to suit a ketogenic diet. Simply ask for half and half, heavy whipping cream, soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk in place of 2%. It’s best to avoid adding cocoa powder so ask the barista to top your drink with sugar-free cinnamon instead.
A simple shot of espresso is often overlooked when trying to find a keto-friendly Starbucks coffee. It’s simple, delicious, and perfect for those on a keto diet.
6. Flat White
A flat white is the perfect keto Starbucks drink as it’s already unsweetened. Typically made with 2% milk which can up your carb count, if you ask for a more keto-friendly milk alternative ranging from whole milk to heavy cream or non-dairy alternatives then this option becomes a low carb Starbucks drink.
7. Caffe Latte
Amongst the keto-friendly Starbucks drinks the caffe latte has to be one of the most versatile. As with the other milk-based coffees, switching 2% milk to any keto-friendly alternative immediately makes this a great option.
There are loads of latte variations like the seasonal pumpkin spice latte, blonde vanilla latte, cinnamon dolce latte, and many more. To keep these options keto, instead of classic syrup, ask for sugar-free vanilla, alongside your low-carb milk and avoid any sugary toppings. A dollop of whipped cream to top off your latte is delicious and thankfully, keto-friendly.
8. Espresso Macchiato
One or two shots of espresso topped with steamed milk and milk foam, this drink can easily be a low-carb option if you swap the milk for heavy cream or something similar.
If you’re more of a fan of the caramel macchiato then you can always ask for this option but with some modifications to keep things keto. Alongside your milk substitute, three pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup, no cinnamon dolce syrup or sprinkles, and no caramel drizzle help to reduce the net carbs to a very small amount. You can still enjoy whipped cream on top and sprinkle some sugar-free cinnamon over this if you like.
9. Cold Brew Coffee
Cold brew coffee is a great way to enjoy a sweet coffee drink without any added carbohydrates or sweeteners. The slow, cool extraction process makes a sweet coffee that’s low in acidity. You can add keto-friendly milk or sugar-free sweeteners like stevia if you a little extra.
10. Nitro Cold Brew
If you love thick, creamy coffee but are trying to keep it low calorie as well as choosing a carb-free option then nitro cold brew is a winner. This is a method of serving cold brew infused with nitrogen similar to how stout beer is served at a bar. The thick, bubbly texture gives it a super-sweet, creamy texture with zero grams of carbs added.
11. Iced Coffee
Choose your favorite coffee and ask for it iced for a cool summer’s day treat. Blonde roast, dark roast, or any variety you like, they’re all keto-friendly. A personal favorite of mine is the Pike Place roast which is rich in chocolate and nutty notes.
12. Iced Tea
Classic iced tea is perfect for your keto meal plan as long as you choose the unsweetened options. It’s simply a blend of black tea, ice, and water so there’s nothing in there to disagree with a keto diet.
13. Chai Tea
The classic chai tea fits in well with keto recipes. It’s a blend of black tea and spices topped up with hot water. Watch out for the chai tea latte though as this option has added sugar so is not keto.
14. London Fog
A mix of earl grey tea and steamed milk can be considered a keto drink if you substitute the vanilla syrup for a sugar-free option and ensure the milk is a keto choice.
15. Emperor’s Clouds & Mist
If you love matcha green tea then you’ll be discouraged to hear that the Starbucks matcha tea latte contains added sugar so is not keto. Instead of this option try the Emperor’s Clouds & Mist which is a green tea infusion. It’s smoky, softly sweet, and packed full of healthy antioxidants.
16. Pink Drink – Keto Version
The keto pink drink version is actually a modified iced passion tango tea. Choose a grande option and add 2 splashes of heavy cream plus 3 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup. Serve over light ice and enjoy!
17. Iced Green Tea
A light, keto white drink option to compliment the pink drink is the iced green tea. Light in color with mint, lemongrass, and lemon verbena this is an ultra-refreshing option with zero calories.
18. Peach Citrus White Tea
You can make this option zero calories and no sugar if you avoid the cane sugar and use a keto-friendly sweetener like Splenda (sucralose) instead. This option is a blend of white tea and herbal infusions and super refreshing on a hot sunny day.
There are lots of keto-friendly Starbucks options as long as you know what you’re looking for. Black coffee is always a great shout but you don’t have to limit your options here if you want something with a little more flavor or texture. If in doubt, always check the sugar content of each drink before you order as it can be surprising which drinks contain this hidden away in the ingredient list.
Just because you’re keto does not mean you have to avoid all the tasty options and I hope this article has helped show you that you don’t need to boycott Starbucks if you’re keto. If you have any other keto-friendly drink options, let us know in the comments below as we’d love to hear from you!
Can you guess what keeps me up at night? You guessed it! Copious amounts of coffee beans. What? I brew them first.