Starbucks' 'Healthy' Menu Additions: Are They Really?

While at a photo shoot in Utah I walked into a Starbucks early in the morning to get some much needed energy for my early call time. They now offer a healthy food menu. Is it healthy? Here's the menu.
Article Summary:
  • Instant oats are less tasty & nutritious than whole oats.
  • Most skim milk varieties have a fair amount of sugar.
  • Just order your tall black coffee with Splenda, and go.
  • dot
    Starbucks' "Healthy" Menu Additions

    While at a photo shoot in Utah I walked into a Starbuck's early in the morning to get some much needed energy for my early call time and discovered that Starbuck's now offers oatmeal. Imagine my surprise and delight because I hadn't yet eaten.

    For $2.45 I can pick two "mix-ins" for my oatmeal: dried fruit, nuts or brown sugar. Well, I know that dried fruit is loaded with sugar and of course, brown sugar would negate any health benefits of a great bowl of oatmeal, so I opt for the nuts and add my own Splenda and cinnamon. After adding just the right amount of Splenda and cinnamon I sit down and dig in.

    Jamie Eason
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Imagine My Surprise & Delight
    Because I Hadn't Yet Eaten.

    Much to my disappointment I discover that the oats are actually instant oats made with skim milk. Not only are instant oats less tasty than whole oats but they are less nutritious. Not to mention the fact that no one behind the counter could tell me if this variety of instant oats was made with sugar?


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    Also, most skim milk varieties have a fair amount of sugar as well. This was nothing short of a bowl of mushy oats and sugar with a few nuts to top it off.

    My advice, skip the Starbuck's "healthy" menu items, just order your tall black coffee with Splenda, and go. A closer look at the new menu:

    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Just Order Your Tall Black
    Coffee With Splenda, And Go.

    dot Oatmeal: dot

      • Cost: $2.45
      • Calories: 140 with no toppings, 390 with all three toppings

      This whole-grain oatmeal will be served hot in a cardboard to-go bowl. The oatmeal comes with three "mix-ins" - dried fruit, nuts, or brown sugar.

      Remember it is instant oatmeal made with skim milk. Although it may be a healthier option, it is not better than the whole oatmeal you make at home with water.

    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    You're Better Off Making Whole
    Oatmeal At Home With Water.

    dot Apple Bran Muffin: dot

      • Cost: $1.75
      • Calories: 330

      Made with whole-wheat flour, oats, wheat bran, apples, cherries, and honey. Too calorie dense and too much sugar.

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    I haven't let myself have too much in the last few months as it's really expensive and high in calories. Anyone know what's acceptable at starbucks?
    Started By:

    dot Multi-Grain Roll: dot

      • Cost: $1.60
      • Calories: 280

      Made with seven seeds and grains, served with a side of almond butter or strawberry preserves. Slightly better than the apple bran muffin but skip the sides.


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    dot Chewy Fruit & Nut Bar: dot

      • Cost: $1.75
      • Calories: 250

      This energy bar is made with oats, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and honey. I'd like to see the nutrition break down of these. If you are a marathon runner, it may actually be a decent option.

    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    If You Are A Marathon Runner,
    It May Actually Be A Decent Option.

    dot Power Protein Plate: dot

      • Cost: $4.95
      • Calories: 330

      This "healthy" smorgasbord consists of a hard-boiled egg, a small whole-wheat bagel, a 70-calorie pack of peanut butter, a cheddar cheese wedge, apple slices, and grapes. Healthier than some breakfast options if you skip the bagel.

    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Healthier Than Some Breakfast
    Options If You Skip The Bagel.

    dot Baked Berry Stella: dot

      • Cost: $1.75
      • Calories: 280

      A whole-grain pastry featuring seasonal fruits. Pastry. Enough said!


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