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Just because you’re giving up carbs doesn’t mean you have to give up your Starbucks. Here’s how to order so you can stay keto compliant and get your morning (or afternoon) buzz.

Kimberly Holland
August 06, 2018

Coffee, specifically bulletproof coffee, is a popular beverage option for people on the ketogenic (keto) diet. That’s because the keto diet requires you to load up on fat in as many ways as possible, and bulletproof coffee—which is combined with coconut oil, butter, and sometimes medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil—is a big boost of fat in the morning without a single carb. It helps you reach your macros and gives your body plenty of fat for energy.

However, If you find yourself at Starbucks you won’t be able to order up this fat-fueled beverage. You’ll need to get more creative and smart with your cuppa. Sure, a cup of black coffee is keto approved, but if Plain Jane Joe just won’t do it, look to one of these keto hacks for the Starbucks menu.

The Faux Frap

The frap base is a no-go for keto dieters, but you can fake it with this clever hack: Ask for an unsweetened iced coffee with heavy cream instead of milk and two pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup. Ask them to blend it frap style, and voila! A close-to-perfect frappuccino pretender.

Total Carbs: 2g

Keto Pink Drink

The Strawberry Acai Starbucks Refreshers™ Beverage (A.K.A. the Pink Drink) is a sweet-tart drink made with coconut milk, tea, and a hefty dose of sweetener. You can convert this drink into a keto-friendly option by asking for Unsweetened Passion Tango Iced Tea (request it with no sugar and no water). Then add heavy cream and two to three pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup.

Total Carbs: 2g

Iced Cinnamon Refresher

The carbs can quickly add up in iced coffee if you pour in some milk and a few pumps of sweetener. With this keto-friendly version, you’ll cut carbs but get a nice, refreshing drink with a bit of cinnamon spice. Ask for an iced coffee, unsweetened. Add two to three pumps of both sugar-free vanilla and sugar-free cinnamon dolce, heavy cream, and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder. (If you’re inside, the cinnamon powder is on the preparation station, so add as much as you want.)

Total Carbs: 2g

Americano

If you’re looking to warm up instead of cool down, you can reach for an Americano with heavy cream instead of milk. You can add sugar-free syrup if you want, or most Starbucks stores have Stevia at the preparation bar.

Total Carbs: 2g

Skinny Mocha

Order it with half heavy cream and half water. When in doubt, say unsweetened.

Total Carbs: 2g

Skinny Cappuccino

Typically just espresso and milk, a cappuccino is a really simple (and caffeine-rich) drink. You’ll need to request heavy cream instead of regular milk, however. If you like some sweetness, just add a few pumps of sugar-free syrup.

Total Carbs: 2g

Chai Brewed Tea

You’ll have to be specific and ask for brewed chai (that is, with a tea bag) because most chai comes from a pre-sweetened concentrate. Add heavy cream and a little sugar-free cinnamon dolce and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder to reach peak chai flavor.

Total Carbs: 2g

3 Things to Keep in Mind for Drinking Keto at Starbucks

1. Substitute heavy cream: Get your fat count up by asking for heavy cream instead of milk or almond milk in anything you order. Bring your own MCT oils if you want, and slosh a bit in before you drink.

2. Be cautious with “basic drinks”: Starbucks iced coffee and iced teas are sweetened with a classic syrup unless you specifically request unsweetened versions.

3. When in doubt, ask: You’re probably not the first keto customer these Starbucks baristas have met. Tell them you’re trying to make your drink keto-compliant, and they may be able to help.

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