The #1 Worst Breakfast at Starbucks, Says a Dietitian
Whether you've explicitly noticed it or not, Starbucks has been working overtime in recent years to earn your food business. Today, 50% or more of the menu boards at many of the chain's cafés are occupied by its breakfast offerings (which just so happen to be available all day).
Overall, the selection might appear healthier than the breakfast menus at other chain restaurants. It's Starbucks, and they're tuned into your lifestyle—right? Truth be told, the nutrition facts on some Starbucks breakfast items actually rival the fast-food giants, one diet educator says.
"Restaurants want to sell food, and that means they want it to taste good," Karen Graham explains—but that often comes at a compromise. "If they lower the fat, they often raise the sodium to enhance flavor. If they lower the carbs, they often raise the saturated fat."
Graham is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator in Canada who is also the author of three books on diabetes. Through the lens of her diet wisdom, Graham analyzed the Starbucks breakfast menu for Eat This, Not That! to help you make a healthier choice when your caffeine craving and your appetite roar. Fortunately, they've got a decent range of options to choose from. (RELATED: One Major Effect Coffee Has on Your Immune System, New Study Says)
Healthy Starbucks breakfast choices, according to this registered dietitian.
Starbucks Berry Trio Parfait
If you're headed to Starbucks for breakfast, you can find some health-friendly picks among the oatmeal and yogurt selections. "All look quite good," Graham says. Her favorite pick for you? The Berry Trio Parfait, which "has less calories and fat but a good boost of protein at 14 grams."
RELATED: Sign up for the Eat This, Not That! newsletter for healthy insight delivered to you daily.
Siggi's Yogurt Cup 0% Vanilla
"If you are just wanting a fast snack, the Siggi's Yogurt cup has just 110 calories and no fat but is rich in protein," Graham says. (Siggi's was also counted among our recent 40 Best Belly-Shrinking Foods.)
Another possible pick:
Graham says Starbucks' Strawberry Overnight Grains might be an OK choice due to the low sodium content, though it also contains considerable fat and calories while not providing much protein.
"You can't go wrong with oatmeal," Graham says, "so the Classic Oatmeal or Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal are both good choices nutritionally because of the benefits of the fiber." Another reason she likes Starbucks oatmeal? "Oats also have antioxidants."
The #1 worst Starbucks breakfast is…
The Double-Smoked Bacon, Cheddar, and Egg Sandwich
Put simply, the Double-Smoked Bacon, Cheddar, and Egg Sandwich at Starbucks is the #1 worst breakfast item to order there. The 920 milligrams of sodium is 38% of your daily recommended sodium intake, while 28 grams of fat is equal to about six teaspoons of fat. That's "almost as much as a McDonald's Big Mac," Graham says. (Meanwhile, don't miss The #1 Worst Breakfast to Order at McDonald's.)
Some better-for-you Starbucks breakfast choices…
Turkey Bacon, Cheddar and Egg White Sandwich
If you're craving a breakfast sandwich, Graham says the Turkey Bacon, Cheddar, and Egg White Sandwich is a much sounder selection. It has half the calories and significantly less fat, sodium, and carbohydrates than the Double-Smoked Bacon sandwich, plus more fiber.
Egg White & Roasted Red Pepper Sous Vide Bites
Low in fat and calories, Graham calls Starbucks Egg White Bites one of the best nutritional options on Starbucks' hot breakfast menu. (Any of its sous vide egg bites are relatively A-OK.) But they "may not be very satisfying to hold you through the morning." As a result, she'd probably go with the Turkey Bacon, Cheddar, and Egg White Sandwich.
Spinach, Feta, & Egg White Wrap
Another Starbucks breakfast item that Graham might recommend for its caloric content and solid protein delivery is the Spinach, Feta, & Egg White Wrap. But keep in mind that "it's got 840 milligrams of sodium and more carbs than the Turkey Bacon," she says.
Hungry for more healthy living tips? Continue reading:
- One Secret Fitness Trick That Can Add Years to Your Life, Says Top Trainer
- The One Breakfast Food To Eat To Lower Your Cholesterol, Says Dietitian
- 28 Secrets About Starbucks, According to Employees