*Disclaimer: All content and information in this blog is for informational and educational purposes only.
Coffee is a morning ritual for most people, but making frequent visits to coffee chains like Starbucks can be challenging when you are living with diabetes. Starbucks drinks can easily have over 50g of added sugar, which is nearly double the suggested daily intake. The high amount of added sugars can make keeping your blood sugars in range while sipping on your favorite seasonal beverages quite difficult. This blog post will provide you with helpful tips and strategies so you don’t feel stuck between ordering Starbucks or keeping your blood sugars in range.
How to keep your blood sugars in range
There are a number of strategies that you can utilize to reduce the blood sugar spike from your favorite Starbucks drinks. The strategies below are suggestions for you to consider- but at the end of the day the choice is yours for what makes the most sense to you (and what will bring you the most enjoyment!).
Reduce the added sugar is in your drink of choice
One of the easiest ways to reduce the blood sugar impact from a sugary Starbucks beverage is to reduce the amount of added sugars. You can reduce the amount of added sugars by:
- Decreasing the amount of regular syrup used (3 pumps of vanilla syrup to 1 pump vanilla syrup)
- Substituting sugar-free syrup for regular syrup (2 pumps of vanilla syrup to 2 pumps sugar-free vanilla syrup)
- Ordering a smaller size (Venti to grande or grande to tall)
Sip on your drink slowly
There is no denying that Starbucks beverages are tasty. And when something tastes good, you can easily find yourself finishing your drink in just a few sips. In terms of blood sugars, the faster you consume a sugary beverage, the faster you’ll see the impact on your blood sugar levels. If you are looking to reduce a blood sugar rise, consider taking your time and sipping your drink slowly. Not only do you get to enjoy your tasty beverage longer, but you’ll see a difference in your blood sugars, too!
Food pairing is a blood sugar management strategy that we’ve discussed in previous blog posts. If you choose to have your Starbucks drink along with a meal, you will likely encounter a smaller blood sugar rise.
Use a Nutrition Calculator
While Starbucks’ menu has the nutrition facts listed for their menu items, they don’t update the number label when there are substitutions made. So if you are going to make adjustments to the syrups or change the type of milk, you may want to use T1D Nutritionist’s Starbucks Guide and Calculator. The nutrition calculator allows you to input your custom drink and automatically calculates the carbs, protein and fat for your drink order.
If you frequent Starbucks, take a listen to Keeping it 100 Radio- Episode 63: No You Don’t Have to Give Up Your Pumpkin Spiced Latte where your host Lissie Poyner sits down with Amanda Ciprich from T1D Nutritionist for an in-depth discussion on keeping your blood sugars in range while enjoying Starbucks.. Listen to Keeping it 100 Radio today on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.