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Starbucks can be an alternative to fast food. It has quick service, drive-thrus, and early opening hours.
Many choices are high in calories, sugar, fat, or starch. But others are lower in calories. They may have protein, fiber, and fruit or vegetables.
Lark's nutrition coach can help you track food and learn about good options for weight loss.
Coffee aside, Starbucks can make or break a diet with its food items. With over 18,000 stores worldwide, Starbucks is pretty much everywhere. And with early opening hours, quick service and drive-thru locations, it can be appealing when you need a meal or snack on the go.
Many items are higher in calories, carbohydrates, sugar, or fat than you may need. But others can fit into your weight loss or healthy eating plan. These are our picks for best and worst foods for weight loss at Starbucks.
Best Foods for Weight Loss at Starbucks
1. Spinach, Egg, and Feta Wrap (290 calories)
This is a great breakfast. It packs in 20 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and a serving of whole grains. And unlike many breakfast wraps and burritos, it has a reasonable 34 grams of carbs.
2. Egg White and Red Pepper Sous Vide Egg Bites (170 calories)
This gets the edge over Kale and Portabello Mushroom Sous Vide Egg Bites (230) because it has half the saturated fat. It is good for a snack, but it is a bit small. You may want to pair it with a piece of fresh fruit, such as a Banana (110 calories) for a higher-fiber breakfast.
3. Turkey Bacon, Cheddar, and Egg White Sandwich (230 calories)
This is a basic breakfast sandwich. But each component has a "better-for-you" twist. Turkey bacon avoids red meat (though it is still cured and should just be an occasional treat). The cheese is low-fat. It has egg whites instead of whole eggs. And the English muffin that holds it together has half the calories and carbs as a bagel or croissant.
4. Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal (320 calories)
What could go wrong when you start your day with whole grains, heart-healthy nuts, and antioxidant-rich blueberries? This breakfast has a nice dose of 7 grams of dietary fiber. You can cut back on added sugars by skipping the agave syrup and asking for stevia instead.
5. Grilled Chicken and Hummus Protein Box (300 calories)
Lean protein. Raw veggies. Garbanzo beans. Healthy fats. This box has a lot going for it, including 22 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber to keep you full for a while.
6. Tomato and Mozzarella Panini (370 calories)
This sandwich has a good amount of calories for a lunch, and it comes complete with protein, healthy fat, and calcium. You might ask if you can get it with extra tomatoes and spinach. The Chicken Caprese Panini is similar, but has 540 calories. You might consider having half of it.
Worst Foods for Weight Loss at Starbucks
1. PB&J Protein Box (520 calories)
The calorie count is not too far out of line for a lunch or dinner from a restaurant. And there are 20 grams of protein, as the name "Protein Box" implies. But there are some red flags. There are 30 grams of sugar, or more than the amount you should get in a day. And it has half of your daily fat limit. Ingredients such as white bread, strawberry jam, ranch dressing, and chocolate covered raisins might clue you into the fact that this is not the healthiest choice. Instead, the Snack Box with Gala Apples, Egg, White Cheddar Cheese, and Almonds Snack Box (320 calories) has sweet and salty flavors without added sugars.
2. Sausage, Cheddar, and Egg Sandwich (480 calories)
It's not that bad as breakfast sandwiches go. But why choose this when you can get the Turkey Bacon, Cheddar, and Egg White Sandwich (? It has half the calories and one-quarter of the saturated fat?
3. Chicken and Bacon Panini (600 calories)
Most foods with bacon are less than healthy. This one has half a day's worth of total fat and saturated fat. It has a full day's worth of sodium. You can do better - like a Tomato and Mozzarella Panini (370 calories) with half the fat and sodium.
4. Crispy Grilled Cheese Sandwich (520 calories)
What do you order if you want a sandwich with refined bread and two types of buttery spreads? The Crispy Grilled Cheese Sandwich with a day's worth of saturated fat. You're better off with half of a Sprouted Grain Bagel (170 calories) and Avocado Spread (90 calories).
5. Double Chocolate Brownie (480 calories)
No doubt you know that a brownie is not a health food. But did you know that this Chocolate Brownie has about the same amount of calories, carbohydrates, and fat as a McDonald's Hamburger and Small Fries combined? Do yourself a favor and if you need a sweet treat, try a Cake Pop (140 calories) instead.
6. Pumpkin Scone (500 calories)
This may parade around as a breakfast food or substitute for bread, but it is not. It has almost the limit for saturated fat for a day, and twice as much sugar as recommended. Plus it has as many carbohydrates as 1.5 bagels. A better option to go with your coffee is a Petite Vanilla Scone (120 calories).
Starbucks has menu items that can keep you on track for weight loss. It is best to check the nutrition information before you go. You can also stay on track by keeping portions small, choosing items with healthy components such as whole grains or vegetables, and limiting excess sugars and carbohydrates.
Losing weight can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and that's not all. When you lose a few extra pounds, energy levels can increase, cholesterol and blood pressure can improve, and clothes fit better. Best of all is that Lark makes weight loss simple!
Lark doesn't just know which choices can lead to weight loss. Lark coaches you on how to make good choices that can become habits. With small changes that fit right into your lifestyle, you can drop pounds and lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. Your personal coach is available 24/7 through your smartphone so you can get expert tips, track meals, physical activity, and weight loss.
The entire program may be available at no cost to you if your health insurer covers it. Click here to find out if you may be eligible for Lark! You could be minutes away from taking the first steps to hitting your weight loss goals and improving health.
Lark helps you eat better, move more, stress less, and improve your overall wellness. Lark’s digital coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone to give you personalized tips, recommendations, and motivation to lose weight and prevent chronic conditions like diabetes.