As much as you want to, sometimes it can be really hard to skip that daily cup (or multiple coffees a day, who’s judging?). Whether you’re in need of a refreshing Iced Green Tea Lemonade or that Caramel Macchiato, the unfortunate truth is that your “usual” at Starbucks could have up to 25 spoonfuls of sugar in it.
Not only is that three times the amount of sugar in one can of Coke, it’s also three times the maximum adult daily intake advised by the American Heart Association.
Here are some quick and easy solutions to cut the sugar without giving up the actual coffee.
Here’s what you should do:
Make it a “skinny”
If you’re like me and really can’t give up that vanilla or hazelnut syrup, switch it out for the sugar-free version. You can either ask the barista to make your normal latte a skinny or you can simply clarify that you want a vanilla latte with sugar-free syrup (for those of us who are afraid of looking too basic).
Specify your choice of milk
All frappuccinos are made with whole milk, but you can easily substitute 2%, fat free, or even soy to cut back on unnecessary sugar. While whole milk provides more protein, it is also contains a lot more fat and sugar.
Find other ways to make it sweet
There are other options for sweetening a drink that (surprise) aren’t sugar. My favorite trick is substituting soy milk for regular milk, because Starbucks uses vanilla soy and it adds a subtle sweetness. Definitely a must-try if you’re willing to part with real milk.
#SpoonTip: Order an Americano Misto with soy milk; you definitely won’t regret it.
Add your own sugar
If you’ve ever ordered an Iced Green Tea, a Green Tea Lemonade, or a Refresher, you know that there’s an option for the barista to add sugar for you. To have more control over what you’re drinking, opt instead to get the drink sans sugar, and add your own sugar packets afterwards.
#SpoonTip: Without any added sugar, a Teavana Shaken Iced Tea has zero calories.
Skip the whipped cream
This is much easier said than done, and sometimes we just really need it. But, on the days where you’re not about to explode from finals stress, it’s best to forgo the whipped stuff.
Now here’s what you shouldn’t do:
Use artificial sweeteners
We’re looking at you, Splenda. Although they seem like the healthy option, artificial sugar packets can be worse than the real stuff. As someone who suffers from migraines, I do my best to avoid these as they always give me a headache, and are known for some other pretty nasty side effects as well.
Go for more pumps of syrup to replace sugar
Starbucks’ flavored syrup contains pure cane sugar and artificial colors, actually making it a worse option than a few sugar packets. While neither are free of artificial colors, the sugar-free syrup is definitely a better option, and even then, it’s best not to overdo it.
Skip the coffee altogether
There are a multitude of ways to cut back on sugar, so it’s not necessary to quit your coffee addiction cold turkey. Yes, you’re going to look like a pain in the you-know-what and will probably be out of breath by the time you finish ordering your “grandeicedskinnyvanillalattewithsoyplease.”
But cutting back on fats and sugars will make you feel a whole lot better, and has long-term health benefits, like clear skin.