This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services. This article and the links contained in it provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical care, and should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or registered dietitian.
From pumpkin spice lattes to pink drinks, Starbucks beverages can bring you comfort (and a caffeine boost) all year long. With an overabundance of menu options, beverage sizes, and milk options to choose from, it can get really overwhelming trying to figure out what beverage is best for your blood sugar. In this post, you will learn simple strategies that can be used to keep your blood sugars in range when enjoying your favorite Starbucks beverage.
Time Your Drink
Starbucks beverages are oftentimes loaded with fast-digesting simple sugars, which means it will raise your blood sugar more quickly. To be honest, the sugar in Starbucks drinks is what makes them extra tasty and delicious that you can easily finish a beverage in just a few sips! When it comes to keeping your blood sugar in range, the rate in which you consume your beverage can have a significant impact on your blood sugar levels. When you chug your beverage in a few sips, you are overwhelming your digestive tract with sugar therefore you are likely going to see a larger and more prominent rise in blood sugar levels. If you are looking to reduce the spike in your blood sugars, try to be intentional with how quickly you consume your beverage. When you take slow, intermittent sips over a period of time you are spreading out the impact of the sugar inside your beverage over a period of time.
Add a Meal or Snack
Food pairing can be a powerful tool in creating satiating meals and managing blood sugar levels. When you have a sugary-Starbucks drink, pairing with a menu option like egg white bites that have protein and fiber inside can slow down digestion and the rise in blood sugar levels. Since protein and fiber are slow digesting foods, they can lower the glycemic index of the whole meal and blood sugar response.
Whenever you eat carbs, your body will break them down into sugar (or glucose) which then will raise the level of sugar in your blood. If you order a larger drink, you will have a larger impact on your blood sugar because it has a greater volume of carbs and sugar. While you don’t always have to opt for a tall or grande option, it is important to be aware that the size of your drink can be impacting your blood sugars.
Be Mindful of Added Sugars
The majority of Starbucks beverages exceed the daily recommendations for added sugar consumption for adults and teenagers. The daily recommendations of added sugars for women is 9 teaspoons per day, men is 6 teaspoons per day, and children 2-18 years old to have <6 teaspoons per day. You can try to limit the amount of added sugars in your favorite beverages by ordering a small size, swapping regular syrup for sugar-free, and using a base for your beverage that is naturally unsweetened.
Enjoying Starbucks with diabetes doesn’t mean that you have to give up your favorite beverages. There are simple action steps that you can take today that will keep your taste buds and blood sugars happy.
If you want low-sugar order suggestions for Starbucks, consider downloading The Ultimate Starbucks Guide for Type 1 Diabetes. This guide has over 20+ order suggestions that will walk you through how to order your favorite beverages and drink access to a nutrition calculator for easily accessible carb counts for your customized drinks.