How to Choose Starbucks Sugar-Free Syrup That Won’t Ruin Your Diet

Grabbing your favorite ketogenic-friendly drink at Starbucks is a good way to start your day or recharge your afternoon, but it isn’t always easy. This is especially true when you have a limited number of options for which syrup you can have. 

A keto Starbucks sugar-free syrup for your drink makes it sweeter and adds a touch of flavor. Adding syrup–even sugar-free syrup–to your drink can help you achieve that extra bit of deliciousness that makes Starbucks’ drinks irresistible. 

But how do you choose which sugar-free syrup to add to your drink? And what are your options at Starbucks? Let’s take a quick dive. 

Which Starbucks Syrups are Sugar-free?

How to Choose Starbucks Sugar-Free Syrup That Won't Ruin Your Diet

For a long time now, Starbucks has had several sugar-free syrups, such as

  • Sugar-free caramel syrup
  • Sugar-free vanilla syrup
  • Sugar-free cinnamon dolce syrup
  • Sugar-free hazelnut syrup

Of these four syrups, you are most likely to find only sugar-free vanilla syrup at your favorite Starbucks shop. The other sugar-free syrups are frequently out of stock or discontinued because of shortages or issues in the supply chain. 

The most recently discontinued sugar-free syrup is the cinnamon dolce. You can still find it in some outlets but not all of them.

There are rumors of the syrup and its other discontinued counterparts being reinstated due to public demand and resolution of issues in the supply chain. 

What is in Starbucks Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup?

How to Choose Starbucks Sugar-Free Syrup That Won't Ruin Your Diet
Image Credit: Starbucks

According to Starbucks, the following ingredients are in their sugar-free vanilla syrup:

  • Water
  • Maltodextrin
  • Xanthan gum
  • Natural flavor
  • Citric acid
  • Potassium sorbate (as a preservative)
  • Sucralose

The Starbucks sugar-free vanilla syrup has the following nutritional values: 

  • 0 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of protein
  • 8 mg of potassium
  • 0 mg of sodium
  • 1 gram of carbs

Starbucks recommends using only one tablespoon of sugar-free vanilla syrup in a 12 oz drink serving. 

Is Starbucks Sugar-free Syrup Really Sugar-free?

While “sugar-free” may mean that the product has no added sugar, it doesn’t always mean that it is carb-free. Starbucks’ sugar-free syrups are “sugar-free” in that they do not contain added sugars. 

However, being free of added sugars doesn’t always mean the product is totally sugar-free since it may have natural sugars or artificial sweeteners. 

For example, we’ve just learned that Starbucks’ sugar-free vanilla syrup contains sucralose, an artificial sweetener made chemically from real sugar. 

Are Starbucks Sugar-free Syrups Keto?

Since Starbucks’ sugar-free syrups contain maltodextrin or sucralose, they are not purely keto. Instead, they are “dirty keto”, which refers to low-carb foods that still have unhealthy ingredients. 

Maltodextrin is a highly processed food additive that may raise your blood sugar levels and ruin your ketosis progress, especially when taken in large quantities. 

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that may also throw you out of ketosis when taken in large quantities. It may also increase your appetite and lead to weight gain and other problems with your metabolic health

The presence of maltodextrin and sucralose means that every pump of your favorite Starbucks sugar-free syrup will have about 1 gram of carbohydrates. The carbs can easily add up as you order larger servings or add more to your drink. 

Drinking lots of Starbucks drinks with a high number of pumps of sugar-free syrups may ruin your keto diet, especially if you drink them frequently. 

Which Starbucks Sugar-Free Syrup Should I Choose?

If you are at a Starbucks shop that only has sugar-free vanilla syrup, you don’t have much of a choice. Where other syrups are available, your choice will depend on your preferences and the keto Starbucks drink you want your barista to whip up for you. 

For example, the keto white drink contains heavy cream, Peach Citrus White Tea, and sugar-free vanilla syrup. The resultant drink will lack the characteristic vanilla taste if you forgo the sugar-free vanilla syrup. And what’s your keto white drink without the vanilla flavor? 

If you don’t want to use any Starbucks sugar-free syrup, you can bring your own syrup or sugar substitute from a brand that makes syrups using ketogenic-friendly sweeteners like erythritol, xylitol, stevia, or monk fruit.