Menu Decoder – Starbucks

Most of us strive to eat healthy, cook fresh foods, and eat out as little as possible! That being said, we all have those days where there is no time and grabbing something quick from a restaurant is the only option or maybe you want to go out to eat with friends and they pick a restaurant that does not have healthy food options! What do you do? What can you eat? This month I am decoding the popular coffee stop Starbucks! I am not going to focus on their drink menu, but I am going to stick to their foods!

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Below you will find food guides to eating Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Low Glycemic Index, Low Sodium & Caloric based! I did the work and math so you don’t have to!

Disclaimer, most food at coffee shops like Starbucks are not really healthy or ideal, but this is a guide to purchase the best options if you are going to eat there and be smart with what you put into your body.

Gluten Free Options:

They are somewhat limited, but here is what you can eat if you are gluten free. Please note that there may be cross contamination, so if you have a severe gluten allergy, eat here with caution or do not eat here at all.

Breakfast:

  • Classic Whole-Grain Oatmeal
  • Oatmeal with Fresh Blueberries
    • You can add the brown sugar, dried fruit, or mixed nut topping if you are GF to either of those oatmeal options!
  • Evolution Fresh Greek Yogurt: cherry, fresh fruit & honey, & strawberry compote flavors
    • You can add the nut/oat mix if you are GF to any of the yogurt flavors!
  • Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend

Meals:

  • Omega-3 Bistro Box
  • Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl
  • Cheese & Fruit Bistro Box (GF if you DO NOT eat the crackers)
  • Protein Bistro Box (GF if you DO NOT eat the pita bread)

Dessert Options:

Flourless cookie at Starbucks! Who knew!

Flourless cookie at Starbucks! Who knew!

  • Flourless Chewy Chocolate Cookie
  • GF Marshmellow Dream Bar

Dairy Free Options:

There are a few dairy free options here. Again, eat here dairy free with a grain of salt as there may be and probably is cross contamination!

Breakfast:

  • Plain Bagel
  • Classic Whole-Grain Oatmeal
  • Oatmeal with Fresh Blueberries
    • You can add the brown sugar, dried fruit, or mixed nut topping if you are GF to either of those oatmeal options!

Meals:

  • Chicken BLT Salad Sandwich
  • Egg Salad Sandwich
  • Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl
Hearty Veggie Salad Bowl. I have had this and it is really good and very filling!

Hearty Veggie Salad Bowl. I have had this and it is really good and very filling!

Dessert Options:

  • Flourless Chewy Chocolate Cookie

Low Glycemic Food Options:

Let’s say you are trying to eat only foods that are low on the glycemic food index scale. There are two easy ways of calculating a food’s glycemic index.

  • Sugar to fiber ratio… ideally 1:1
  • Carbohydrate to fiber ratio… ideally less than 10:1

Breakfast:

  • Bacon & Gouda Breakfast Sandwich
  • Classic Whole-Grain Oatmeal (can include mixed nut topping)
  • Egg & Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich
  • Oatmeal with Fresh Blueberries
  • Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend
  • Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap
Starbuck's oatmeal is gluten free, pretty tasty, and a healthy breakfast option!

Starbuck’s oatmeal is gluten free, pretty tasty, and a healthy breakfast option!

Meals:

  • 8-Grain Roll
  • Cheese & Fruit Box
  • Chicken Artichoke on Ancient Grain Flatbread
  • Chicken BLT Salad Sandwich
  • Chicken Santa Fe on Ancient Grain Flatbread
  • Edamame Hummus Wrap
  • Egg Salad Sandwich
  • Ham & Swiss Panini
  • Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl
  • Omega-3 Bistro Box
  • Protein Bistro Box
  • Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Panini
  • Turkey & Havarti Sandwich
  • Turkey Pesto Panini
  • Wheat Spinach Savory Foldover
  • Zesty Chicken & Black Bean Salad Bowl

Need to keep down Sodium & Calories… This section is for you!

I am not a big fan of counting calories! I think there are more important nutrition factors to consider. Also, if you learn mindful eating and how to enjoy your food, calorie counting is almost not important. That being said, if you are trying to keep track below are meal options that are less than 500 calories (the most you should eat for one meal, when you are on a 2000 calorie diet).

Americans on average consume over 3300 mg of sodium per day. Ideally, you should consume less than 2300 mg of sodium per day! If you are 51+ y/o or have high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease, you should strive to consume less than 1500 mg of sodium per day.

This can be hard to do if you don’t know how much sodium certain foods contain. Unlike calories this information is not listed anywhere easily accessible. I have created put together a list of Starbuck’s food options below that contain less than 500 mg of sodium, which is the MOST you should consume per meal.

 

**These meals also have less than 500 mg of sodium & are on the low glycemic index scale!

Breakfast:

  • Seasonal Harvest Fruit Blend (90 cals)
  • Oatmeal with Fresh Blueberries (220 cals)
  • Classic Whole-Grain Oatmeal with mixed nut topping (260 cals)
  • Egg & Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich (280 cals)
  • Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap (290 cals)
Spinach feta breakfast wrap is a pretty good option for a meal!

Spinach feta breakfast wrap is a pretty good option for a meal!

Meals:

  • Wheat Spinach Savory Foldover (250 cals)
  • 8-Grain Roll (380 cals)
  • Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Panini (390 cals)
    • Has 630 mg of sodium
  • Omega-3 Bistro Box (420 cals)
  • Hearty Veggies & Rice Salad Bowl (430 cals)
    • Has 640 mg of sodium
  • Cheese & Fruit Bistro Box (470 cals)

Dessert Options:

**These desserts have less than 250 mg of sodium & less than 250 calories. They are not low on the glycemic index scale, but we are all allowed some sweets in moderation!
  • Birthday Cake Pop (170 cals)
  • Chocolate Cake Pop (140 cals)
  • Flourless Chewy Chocolate Cookie (170 cals)
  • Michigan Cherry Oat Bar (240 cals)
  • Petite Vanilla Bean Scone (120 cals)
  • Salted Caramel Cake Pop (180 cals)

Summary:

If you are going to grab something to eat at Starbucks with your coffee, use the above information as a guide. For a list of all the dietary info, Starbucks has a nutrition guide, which is somewhat user friendly, but you have to look at each item individually to find out what allergens and ingredients it contains! Here is my 5 step guide to eating “healthy” here!

  1. For breakfast, stick to oatmeal with or without the toppings. Starbucks oatmeal is gluten free and fairly health and fresh. Get the blueberry kind or add your own fresh fruit for a great serving of fresh fruit!
  2. Not an oatmeal fan, stick to their greek yogurt! All three are fairly healthy, actually tasty, and contain a serving of fruit!
  3. For lunch, pick between one of their salads or a low glycemic index meal!
  4. Stay away from most of their pastries! They almost all have gluten, dairy, a ton of sugar & sodium, and are high on the glycemic index!
  5. If you need something sweet! Stick to the dessert options listed above that are under 250 calories and 250 mg of sodium!
My name is Emma Petshow and I am a 3rd year naturopathic medical student at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. For more about myself, check out my bio. This blog is intended for information about preventive health and lifestyle improvement. The information contained on this blog is not to be used as medical advice. For specific medical advice you should consult your physician.
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My lunch today! Carrots, butternut squash, and sweet potato with olive oil, rosemary, and salt/pepper! Put in oven or crockpot with a little bit of water. Enjoy!

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A coffee lover discussing a place that sells coffee.. how ironic 🙂

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