Although well-known beverages such as the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the Peppermint Mocha are among the most popular orders at Starbucks, diabetics should steer clear of them if they want to keep their blood sugar levels under control. In point of fact, a grande cup (16 ounces) of either of these beverages contains 50 or 54 grams of sugar, making it the equivalent of more than three servings of carbohydrates. This is a significant amount for someone who has diabetes and must pay close attention to the number of carbohydrates they consume.
However, despite the fact that Starbucks has a big list of beverages with high sugar content, the company still offers quite a few beverage options that do not deliver such a significant amount of sugar with each and every sip. If you have diabetes and are seeking for low-sugar drink options at Starbucks, we asked Lauren Manaker, M.S., RDN, to offer some of the best sips to take that won’t cause your blood sugar to soar the next time you find yourself in a line at Starbucks.
1. Black Coffee
If you have diabetes and are trying to cut back on the amount of sugar you consume, a traditional cup of black coffee is an easy choice to make.
According to Manaker, “The OG coffee order does not have any naturally occurring added sugar and is a source of natural antioxidants.” Even if you are actively managing your diabetes, if you prefer your coffee unsweetened, you can still indulge in your daily ritual of sipping your brew of choice.
A study that was published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine indicated that moderate consumption of caffeinated coffee over an extended period of time may actually improve glucose metabolism.
Additionally, studies have shown that those who drink coffee have a lower overall risk of having diabetes in the first place. According to the findings of a study that was presented in Diabetes Care, those who consumed coffee on a daily basis (at a rate of at least one cup) may have a lower chance of acquiring diabetes.
However, it is not necessary for coffee to have caffeine. Coffee consumption, whether caffeinated or decaffeinated, was found to be associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes in a meta-analysis that was published in the journal Nutrition Reviews.
Both hot and iced coffees are included in this low-sugar Starbucks order. However, you will need to make it clear that you want your iced coffee to be served without any additional sugar; a standard order of iced coffee will have simple syrup included in it.
2. Short Latte
If sipping coffee black isn’t your thing (haha), then Manaker suggests going for something a little nicer like a tiny latte instead. If you’re searching for something a little more elaborate. A “short” latte is actually a smaller serving than the standard “tall” latte, coming in at 8 ounces in your cup as opposed to the standard 12 ounces.
According to Manaker, “Milk and espresso are the two components that go into making a latte.” “While milk does contain some naturally occurring sugars, this beverage does not contain any added sugars.”
When it comes to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, choosing the right kind of milk for your latte is important. Lactose is a form of sugar that occurs naturally in milk and other dairy products.
According to Manaker, “Stick to 2% milk instead of skim milk may help manage blood sugars a bit more thanks to the additional fat.” Skim milk does not include any fat. “If you want a little something extra in the flavor department, ask for some cinnamon to be sprinkled on top of your beverage.”
3. Iced Green Tea
Not a fan of coffee but seeking something energizing to drink nonetheless? A variety of unsweetened iced teas, including green tea, are available for purchase at Starbucks.
According to Manaker, “Green tea is naturally free from added sugars, and it contains natural compounds that may offer distinctive benefits for those who suffer from type 2 diabetes.”
This is supported by a comprehensive study that was recently published in the journal Nutrients. The study discovered a connection between drinking green tea and better glucose and A1C levels.
“The flavor of this alternative, which is served chilled, isn’t overbearing, even when you’re sipping it. According to Manaker, if your diet allows for it, you should not hesitate to sweeten your tea with a sugar substitute such as Stevia. “
Black tea and Passion Tango iced tea are two of the other types of unsweetened tea that you can get at Starbucks if you’re not a lover of green tea. On chillier days, unsweetened hot tea is another option to consider if you are searching for something to warm you up and make you feel more at ease.
4. Cold-Brew Coffee
If you’re not a fan of the typical order for iced coffee that you may get at Starbucks, their cold brew is a terrific alternative for individuals who prefer a more robust taste.
“Cold-brew coffee is sugar-free and contains very few calories,” said Manaker. “Cold-brew coffee also contains no fat.” Because of the drink’s satiating richness, you won’t even notice the absence of the added sugars in it.
Again, if the idea of drinking black coffee does not appeal to you, you can always add a splash of milk to it. This will add some satiating protein and fat, both of which are recognized for helping to maintain stable levels of blood sugar.
Simply keeping in mind how much sugar is in a drink is the most important step in the process of ordering a beverage with less sugar at Starbucks. Find liquids that are not sweetened, and do your best to avoid drinking any beverages that include added sugars, which often come from a variety of syrups and sweeteners. Adding 2% milk to your coffee or tea, or ordering a short latte instead of a tall one, delivers protein and fat that can help prevent a surge in blood sugar while you enjoy your beverage of choice. This is an alternative to the typical cup of black coffee or tea.
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