The #1 Worst Starbucks Drink, According to an RD
Starbucks is known for its wide variety of delicious coffee drinks, from hot lattes and seasonal delights to icy, cold frappuccinos. Yet, let's be honest—many of the menu items are really just milkshakes and desserts posing as decadent morning brews with perhaps some whipped cream or caramel syrup on top. Not the best way to get your caffeine fix when you think about it.
And unfortunately, high-sugar drinks have been linked to a greater risk of obesity, as shown in studies. What's more, new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that even just one sugary beverage a day can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as contribute to weight gain and obesity. The study points out that one sweet drink can raise the prevalence of cravings and hunger, which then can lead to you packing on the pounds and contribute to poor heart health.
And when it comes to the biggest diet doozy amongst the group, you might be surprised to uncover which is the worst Starbucks drink on the menu. It's actually a tea-based option, but simply due to its misleading nature (and yes, the high fat, sugar, and calorie count), it claims the spot as the one beverage you should never sip on. (But go ahead and add any of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now to your daily diet!)
The worst Starbucks drink is…
Matcha Green Tea Crème Frappuccino
"This is basically a green-colored milkshake masquerading as tea with a venti [size] clocking in at 520 calories," says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club. Green tea itself has been shown to possess several health benefits due to its high antioxidant content and caffeine boost, but don't be fooled by this menu option. As Harris-Pincus points out, "that's almost 3 days worth of added sugars and over half the daily value of saturated fat," you would get in this one beverage. Yikes!
What should you order from Starbucks instead?
Let's just start by saying you're much better off making your own green tea at home.
You can enjoy green tea plain with some fresh lemon and a little bit of honey for some natural sweetness. If you're a fan of it iced, go ahead and add in your own fresh fruit to the pitcher to jazz it up. Both of these options still deliver that sweetness you might be craving but keeps it way lower in sugar than the frappuccino version, as that one drink has nearly as much sugar as you would get from eight Original Glazed Krispy Kreme donuts. Want to get really crafty? You can use a milk frother to get that nice texture and foam to a hot cup, too! (And here's how you can learn to harness the power of tea to lose weight.)
And if you were only ordering the Matcha Green Tea Crème Frap because you thought it would be healthier than a caramel or vanilla coffee option, you're better off going for the coffee if that's what you actually want! Just don't get a sugary frappuccino—no matter what. Instead, try a cold brew or plain coffee with a dash of milk and some Stevia if you need an added touch of sweetness.