Starbucks offers a variety of milk options for customers to customize their drinks, including dairy milks, non-dairy milks, and creamers. For calorie-conscious coffee drinkers, choosing a lower calorie milk is an easy way to cut down on calories without sacrificing taste. This article will explore the different milk options at Starbucks and compare their nutritional information to determine the lowest calorie milks available.
Starbucks Dairy Milk Options
Starbucks offers several types of dairy milk including whole milk, 2% milk, 1% milk, nonfat milk, and half & half. Here is an overview of the calorie content in 8 fluid ounces of each Starbucks dairy milk variety:
|Calories per 8 oz
|Half & Half
As shown, nonfat milk is the lowest calorie dairy milk choice at Starbucks with 80 calories per 8 ounce serving. Whole milk contains 150 calories per 8 ounces, making it nearly twice as caloric as the nonfat milk.
2% milk and 1% milk fall between whole milk and nonfat with 120 calories and 100 calories respectively. Half & half is extremely high in calories at 400 per 8 ounces, which is 5 times more than nonfat milk.
Clearly, nonfat dairy milk is the best option for minimizing calories in Starbucks beverages.
Starbucks Non-Dairy Milk Options
In addition to traditional dairy milks, Starbucks also offers a variety of non-dairy milk alternatives. These include:
– Soy milk
– Almond milk
– Coconut milk
– Oat milk
The calorie content of these non-dairy milks can vary greatly depending on the brand and variety selected. Here is a comparison of calories per 8 fluid ounces of each type of non-dairy milk sold at Starbucks:
|Calories per 8 oz
The calories in non-dairy milks ranges from 60-130 per 8 ounce serving. The lowest calorie option is almond milk, with certain brands containing only 60 calories per 8 ounces. Soy milk and coconut milk are the next lowest at around 80 calories. Oat milk tends to be higher in calories at 130 per 8 ounces.
When choosing a non-dairy milk from Starbucks, unsweetened almond milk is the best bet for limiting calories. Sweetened varieties will be higher in sugar and calories. Be sure to check the menu boards or ask the baristas for nutrition details on the available non-dairy milks.
Starbucks also offers flavored coffee creamers that can be added to hot, iced, and blended coffee drinks. These liquid creamers come in flavors like vanilla, caramel, and cinnamon dolce.
Though tasty, the Starbucks creamers pack a lot more calories than milk. Here’s a look at the calorie count per fluid ounce of each variety:
|Calories per oz
|Cinnamon Dolce Creamer
|White Chocolate Mocha Creamer
All of the Starbucks creamers range from 50-60 calories per fluid ounce. To put this in perspective, adding just 2 ounces of these creamers to your coffee is equivalent to nearly an entire cup of nonfat dairy milk!
If limiting calories is your priority, it’s best to stick with milk rather than these high-calorie creamers.
Comparing Calories in Starbucks Milk Options
To summarize the calorie content of all the various Starbucks milk choices:
|Calories per 8 oz
|Unsweetened Almond Milk
|Half & Half
|All Starbucks Creamers
|50-60 per oz
Looking at the numbers, unsweetened almond milk is the clear lowest calorie option, containing only 60 calories per 8 ounce serving. Nonfat dairy milk is a close second at 80 calories per 8 ounces.
For non-dairy milk drinkers, unsweetened almond milk is the best low calorie choice on the Starbucks menu. Nonfat dairy milk is the lowest calorie option among the dairy milks.
All other dairy milks, alternative milks, and creamers are substantially higher in calories by comparison.
Tips for Ordering Low Calorie Milk at Starbucks
Here are some tips to help you order low calorie milk options when customizing drinks at Starbucks:
– Request nonfat milk if choosing a dairy option
– Ask for unsweetened almond milk as the non-dairy choice
– Avoid creamers and specialty milks that are higher in calories
– Know the default milk. For hot coffee it’s 2% milk, for iced coffee and macchiatos it’s whole milk
– Don’t assume “milk” means nonfat; be specific when ordering
– Check calories on new or seasonal milks before trying
– Ask the barista if you need help identifying lower calorie options
Sticking to nonfat dairy milk or unsweetened almond milk is your best bet for keeping coffee drink calories low at Starbucks. With a few simple modifications, you can still enjoy your favorite Starbucks beverages guilt-free.
Low Calorie Starbucks Drink Ideas
Focusing on low calorie milk is a great first step, but customizing the rest of your drink can also help cut down on calories.
Here are some ideas for low calorie Starbucks drink orders:
– Small Caffè Americano with nonfat milk
– Small Caffè Misto with 1 pump of sugar free flavor and nonfat milk
– Small Coffee with sugar free cinnamon dolce and splash of nonfat milk
– Iced coffee with sugar free vanilla and splash of almond milk
– Iced Coffee with no classic syrup and almond milk
– Cold Brew with no sweetener and splash of nonfat milk
– Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte made with nonfat milk
– Sugar-Free Vanilla Latte with almond milk
– Skinny Latte with sugar-free syrup and nonfat milk
– Coffee Frappuccino Light Blended Beverage with nonfat milk
– Strawberries & Cream Frappuccino with almond milk and no whipped cream
– Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino Light made with nonfat milk
Focusing on milk choices is an impactful way to cut Starbucks drink calories, but don’t stop there. Additional tweaks like sugar-free syrups and no whipped cream can help further reduce calorie counts and boost nutrition.
Benefits of Choosing Low Calorie Milk
There are many potential health benefits associated with opting for low calorie milk options:
– Fewer calories allows greater flexibility with your overall diet
– Reduced saturated fat intake compared to full-fat dairy milk
– Decreased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes
– Lower calorie drinks are less likely to lead to weight gain over time
– Non-dairy milks provide an option for people with lactose intolerance or sensitivities
Making small swaps – like nonfat dairy milk instead of 2% or almond milk instead of soy – can feel totally effortless while making a big impact on your daily calorie consumption.
Over weeks, months, or years, consistently choosing lower calorie milk to customize your Starbucks drinks can help support a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Potential Drawbacks of Low Calorie Milk
While there are certainly benefits, there are also a few potential drawbacks to consider with low calorie milks:
– Nonfat and skim dairy milks provide less satiating fats
– Non-dairy milks often provide less protein than dairy milk
– Added thickeners and stabilizers are common in many alternative milks
– Unsweetened versions of non-dairy milks may be less palatable for some
– Nut-based milks are unsuitable options for people with nut allergies
– Non-dairy milks are often lower in certain nutrients like vitamin D and calcium
The lower fat and protein in nonfat dairy milk and non-dairy options may not keep you feeling full and satisfied in the same way as higher fat milk. There are also dietary considerations around additives, allergies, and nutrient differences to keep in mind.
As with any change, personal experimentation is key – try out a few low calorie options to see what best suits your palate, health conditions, and lifestyle needs.
Tips for Transitioning to Low Calorie Milk
Shifting your regular Starbucks order to feature a low calorie milk may take some adjustment. Here are helpful tips to make the transition smooth and successful:
– Try new milks in small coffees before larger/more expensive drinks
– Give yourself time to find the non-dairy milk you like best before ruling them out
– Start with a 50/50 blend (half nonfat & half almond milk for example) to ease into new flavors
– Ask for samples of new milks to find your favorites before committing to a 16oz drink
– Continue enjoying higher calorie milks occasionally as a treat
– Consider using milk alternatives at home to become accustomed to new tastes and textures
Experimentation and gradual change tends to be easiest for most people. There are so many delicious options available now, finding your perfect low calorie milk match is just a matter of trial and error.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about low calorie milk choices at Starbucks:
Is non-dairy milk healthier than dairy milk?
Not necessarily. Non-dairy milks tend to contain less protein than dairy milk. Many are highly processed and include additives. However, they can be suitable options for people with dietary restrictions. When choosing non-dairy milk, look for unsweetened varieties with short ingredient lists.
Do the calories in milk choices matter if I’m already drinking a high calorie frappuccino?
Yes! While specialty drinks can have high calorie counts, the milk choice makes a significant difference. For example, a Caramel Frappuccino made with whole milk has 420 calories, while the nonfat milk version contains 330. Those 90 fewer calories just from milk can be meaningful.
Is fat-free milk bad for you?
Fat-free (skim) dairy milk is not inherently unhealthy. It simply contains little to no fat. However, it provides the same protein, calcium, vitamins as whole milk in a low calorie option. Since most people consume adequate fats elsewhere, nonfat milk is a smart choice for limiting calories.
The Bottom Line
When prioritizing lower calorie options at Starbucks, unsweetened almond milk is the ultimate winner with just 60 calories per 8 ounces. Nonfat dairy milk follows close behind at 80 calories per 8 ounces.
Compared to 150 calories in whole milk and 60 calories per ounce in Starbucks creamers, these two low calorie milks are your best bets for reducing calories in your favorite coffee drinks.
Focus on unsweetened almond milk as a non-dairy choice and nonfat milk for your dairy option. For optimal health and the lowest calorie sip, customize your Starbucks beverages with these smart milk swaps whenever possible. Your waistline and tastebuds will thank you!