9 Starbucks Lower-Sugar Menu Options for Diabetics

Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Was this helpful?
  • Young African American couple smiling and drinking coffee in park

    If you thought Starbucks drinks were off limits for diabetics, think again. Starbucks has more than 170,000 ways to customize their drinks and you may be surprised at the selection of low-sugar drinks on and off the menu. Since diabetics should aim to limit their carb intake to 45 g to 60 g of carbohydrates per meal, you may want to keep your low-sugar drinks in the 25 g range.

    Next time you order, choose one of these tasty beverages or customize your own by asking for fewer pumps of flavored syrup or sugar-free syrup, available in vanilla, mocha, or cinnamon dolce.

    All images from Starbucks.com.

  • 1
    Skinny Mocha Latte
    Skinny mocha latte

    What’s better than a classic coffee latte? A chocolatey-good version that’ll satisfy your sweet tooth and keep your carbs in check. This popular drink can be easily tweaked to a lower-sugar recipe. Ask for it to be made with heavy cream to cut back on the sugar typically found in milk. You can also request sugar-free mocha syrup to keep the carbs and calories to a minimum.

  • 2
    Cinnamon Dolce Latte
    Cinnamon Dolce Latte

    Ready to take your latte to the next level? Cinnamon dolce syrup is one of Starbucks’ three sugar-free choices and it’s delicious blended with steamed milk and classic espresso. Ask your barista to hold the cinnamon dolce topping and whipped cream if you want to reduce the sugar and calories even further. This diabetes-friendly drink is rich, so you might also want to order a 12 fl oz tall size to reduce the carb count.

  • 3
    Whole Milk Cappuccino
    Whole milk cappuccino

    Coffee lovers who like low-sugar options can still add flair to their espresso order by choosing a whole milk cappuccino. The espresso is blended with nutrient-rich whole milk and topped with a layer of velvety, thick foam. The cappuccino’s smooth flavor is even better if you ask your barista to use their signature Blonde espresso. This creamy cup feels like a treat, but only has 12 g of carbs. If you need a little sweetness, add a packet or two of artificial sweetener.

  • 4
    Low-Carb London Fog
    Low-Carb London Fog.jpg

    If you’re an avid tea drinker looking for an interesting low-sugar Starbucks drink, try a Low-Carb London Fog. The classic London Fog combines warm Earl Grey tea with steamed milk and vanilla syrup. But you can request a few simple fixes to make this the low-sugar, low-carb drink of your dreams. Ask your barista to make it with heavy cream instead of milk and request sugar-free vanilla syrup. Pinkies up!

  • 5
    Nitro Cold Brew
    Nitro Cold Brew

    Black iced coffee is a great no-sugar drink for diabetics and people cutting out sugar, but a Nitro Cold Brew is a definite upgrade. This small-batch cold brew is made by slowly steeping espresso in water to give it a rich, but mellow flavor. Once it’s steeped, baristas infuse it with nitrogen, which makes the drink creamy and adds a slight sweetness without added sugar. It’s sugar-free decadence at its finest.

  • 6
    Iced Green Tea
    Iced Green Tea

    The refreshing iced tea may sound basic, but Starbucks green tea blend includes a trio of unique flavors: lemongrass, mint, and lemon verbena. This is no ordinary iced tea. It’s expertly sweetened with classic cane sugar syrup and shaken with ice to create a cool, frothy refresher. The traditional recipe only has 11 g of carbs per 16 fl oz serving. If you want to skip the sugar altogether, order it unsweetened. It’s still just as tasty!

  • 7
    Shaken Iced Passion Tango Tea
    Iced Passion Tango Tea

    This name of this cool treat is a mouthful, but your taste buds will be so glad you ordered it. This upleveled version of iced tea is a vibrant blend of hibiscus flowers, apple, lemongrass, cinnamon, and licorice root. It also contains a small amount of fruit juice and classic cane sugar syrup, but a 16 fl oz serving still only has 11 g of carbs. If you want a no-sugar version that’s a close second, opt for an unsweetened iced passion tea. It’s got loads of flavor, but none of the sugar.

  • 8
    Iced Peach Citrus White Tea
    Iced Peach Citrus White Tea

    Who can resist peaches and cream? This is the perfect summery sweet treat for any time of year. Order a Peach Citrus White Tea and add a splash of heavy cream plus a couple of pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup. Ask for it unsweetened if you want to go completely sugar free. You can always add artificial sweetener afterwards if you need a little something extra. Want to get wild? Ask the barista to toss in a handful of freeze dried berries.

  • 9
    Violet Drink
    Violet drink

    If you love fancy drinks, the Violet Drink is a gorgeous concoction that will make your afternoon break feel elegant. It’s a beautiful blend of Starbucks Very Berry Hibiscus Refreshers beverage swirled with creamy coconut milk and ice. The Violet Drink is the ultimate low-sugar dessert drink with a balanced flavor of sweet blackberries and tart hibiscus. A 16 fl oz serving has 22 g of carbs and it’s totally worth it.

Was this helpful?
Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2021 Jan 21
View All Diabetes Articles
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
  1. Carb Counting. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/eat-well/diabetes-and-carbohydrates.html
  2. Sugars and type 2 diabetes. Action on Sugar. http://www.actiononsugar.org/sugar-and-health/sugars-and-type-2-diabetes/
  3. Diabetes nutrition: Including sweets in your meal plan. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-nutrition/art-20047654
  4. Carbohydrates & Blood Sugar Control for People with Diabetes. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/11651-carbohydrates--blood-sugar-control-for-people-with-diabetes