If you follow the popular and highly-praised Mediterranean diet, which is plant-forward and based on the foods largely eaten in countries like France, Italy, Spain, and Greece, the good news is that you don’t have to give up your love of Starbucks. America’s favorite coffee chain has plenty of options on the menu that you can order while sticking to the Mediterranean diet.
This diet is more of a lifestyle and doesn’t necessarily have any hard-and-fast rules, but there are a few food groups that it focuses on and a few it tries to limit (it’s very similar to the DASH diet; both are heart-healthy approaches to eating). The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, fish, whole grains, healthy fats, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Meanwhile lean meat, eggs, and dairy are eaten in moderation, and things like red meat, added sugar and sweetened beverages, and refined grains and oils are to be limited.
So what exactly can you eat and drink at Starbucks if you follow a Mediterranean diet? Here’s everything you need to know.
Mediterranean diet food options on the Starbucks menu
The Mediterranean diet doesn’t necessarily eliminate food groups or ingredients, but since it does discourage added sugars, refined grains, and processed additives, many of the quick-service or pre-made food at a chain like Starbucks isn’t exactly up to snuff. That said, there are still a good amount of menu options that will make the cut!
The trick is to stick to any Starbucks breakfast, lunch, or snack items that contain limited amounts of added sugar or processed ingredients; luckily since things like eggs and dairy are permitted in moderation, that does open up some options that are okay to order from Starbucks once in a while.
For the purpose of this list, we’re sticking to Starbucks items with little to no added sugar, no trans fat and low saturated fat, and minimal refined or processed food ingredients. Here’s the full list of all food items on the current Starbucks menu that constitute better-for-you choices on a Mediterranean diet.
|Breakfast + Bakery Items||Necessary Modifications|
|Rolled & Steel-Cut Oatmeal [Classic, Blueberry]||Topping: nut medley or fresh fruit (avoid brown sugar or agave)|
|Turkey Bacon, Cheddar & Egg White Sandwich|
|Spinach, Feta & Egg White Wrap|
|Egg White & Roasted Red Pepper Egg Bites|
|Lunch Items||Necessary Modifications|
|Eggs & Gouda Protein Box||Optional: remove crackers and peanut butter to avoid refined grains and added sugar|
|Cheese Trio Protein Box||Optional: remove crackers and dried cranberries to avoid refined grains and added sugar|
|Chickpea Bites & Avocado Protein Box||Optional: remove dried fruit & nut mix to avoid added sugars|
|Eggs & Cheddar Protein Box||Optional: remove bread and peanut butter to avoid refined grains and added sugar|
|Snack Items||Necessary Modifications|
|Peter Rabbit Organics Strawberry Banana|
|That’s It Bar [Apple + Blueberry, Apple + Mango]|
|This Bar Saves Lives [Madagascar Vanilla Almond & Honey]|
Mediterranean diet drink options at Starbucks
If you come to Starbucks for the coffee and tea beverages (like most people do), you’re in luck – there are many more options in the drinks category that stick to a Mediterranean diet!
Because the Mediterranean approach allows for dairy in moderation, most of the craft coffee drinks at Starbucks – like lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos – are a go (assuming that the drink is something you order as an occasional treat rather than on a regular basis). Starbucks uses 2% milk in all of their drinks, unless otherwise stated in the name of the beverage. For beverages that are made with a plant-based milk like oat milk or almond milk, we’d recommend replacing the milk with 2% or skim milk to avoid the added sugars that come with their non-dairy milk options.
And that’s the main thing to look out for at Starbucks while on a Mediterranean diet: added sugar. Because many of the flavored or signature drinks at Starbucks include pumps of syrup, sweeteners, toppings, or whipped cream, the key is being aware of which drinks contain added sugar and either removing the sugary ingredients or replacing them with sugar-free options.
Starbucks has a few sugar-free syrups (like vanilla, hazelnut, and caramel, depending on your location) which you can modify your drink with to cut out the added sugar. But keep in mind that some drinks, like Starbucks Refreshers, are pre-mixed with sugar and unable to be ordered as sugar-free.
Here are all of the beverages, hot and cold, on the current Starbucks menu that you can order while maintaining a Mediterranean diet (along with any necessary modifications to avoid the added sugar).
|Hot Drinks||Necessary Modifications|
|Brewed Coffee [Featured Blonde Roast, Featured Dark Roast, Medium-Roast Pike Place, Decaf Pike Place, Veranda Blends, Caffé Verona Blends, Clover® Starbucks Reserve® Blends]|
|Cinnamon Dolce Latte||Sub sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup|
|Oleato Caffè Latte with Oatmilk||Sub 2% or nonfat milk|
|Starbucks Reserve® Latte|
|Blonde Vanilla Latte||Sub sugar-free vanilla syrup|
|Caramel Macchiato||Sub sugar-free vanilla syrup, no caramel sauce|
|Black Tea [Earl Grey, Royal English Breakfast]|
|Teavana® London Fog Tea Latte||Sub sugar-free vanilla syrup|
|Royal English Breakfast Tea Latte||Sub stevia|
|Green Tea [Emperor’s Clouds & Mist, Jade Citrus Mint]|
|Herbal Tea [Mint Majesty, Peach Tranquility]|
|Steamed Apple Juice|
|Vanilla Creme||Sub sugar-free vanilla syrup, no whipped cream|
|Iced Coffee [Starbucks Iced Coffee Blend, Iced Clover® Brewed Coffees]||Order unsweetened or sub stevia|
|Iced Coffee with Milk|
|Nitro Cold Brew|
|Cold Brew Coffee with Milk|
|Iced Caffè Americano|
|Iced Shaken Espresso||Sub stevia|
|Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso||Sub 2% or nonfat milk, sub sugar-free vanilla syrup|
|Coffee Frappuccino||No frappuccino roast pumps, no whipped cream|
|Espresso Frappuccino||No frappuccino roast pumps, no whipped cream|
|Iced Flat White|
|Iced Caffè Latte|
|Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte||Sub sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup|
|Starbucks Reserve® Iced Latte|
|Iced Blonde Vanilla Latte||Sub sugar-free vanilla syrup|
|Iced Tea [Black, Green, Peach Green, Passion Tango]||Order unsweetened or sub stevia|
|Iced London Fog Tea Latte||Sub sugar-free vanilla syrup|
|Iced Royal English Breakfast Tea Latte|
When you order a drink “skinny” at Starbucks, your drink will be made with following modifications: nonfat milk, no whipped cream, and sugar-free syrup (if available).
Yes, caffeine is generally safe for those with high blood pressure – so it’s more a matter of what you add to your coffee or beverage. You can enjoy Starbucks on a heart-healthy or DASH diet as long as you choose drinks that are low in sodium, sugar, and saturated fat.
Unless you order something black or that’s only made with dairy milk, most Starbucks beverages will come with added sugar in the form of sweeteners or flavored syrups. To avoid added sugars, sub in sugar-free syrups wherever possible, and avoid any plant-based milks as all of Starbucks milk alternatives are made with added sugars.