If you are looking to add some flavor to a Starbucks drink without increasing the amount of sugar and calories, a sugar-free syrup is a great option.
This article discusses everything about sugar-free syrups at Starbucks and how to add sugar-free syrup to a drink. We also discuss the other healthy sweeteners that you can add to your drink.
Does Starbucks have Sugar-Free Syrups?
Yes, Starbucks offers only one sugar-free syrup which is the sugar-free vanilla (SFVS) after discontinuing sugar-free hazelnut, sugar-free cinnamon dolce, sugar-free caramel, and skinny mocha sauce due to poor sales. Starbucks also offers Stevia in the raw and Splenda as low-carb alternatives to regular sweeteners.
Starbucks Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup
Starbucks offers two types of vanilla syrups: regular vanilla and sugar-free vanilla syrup. The sugar-free vanilla syrup has one gram of sugar and zero calories per ounce (2 tbsp) as compared to 20 grams of sugar and 80 calories in a fluid ounce of regular vanilla syrup.
The SFVS has natural and artificial flavors and is sweetened with sucralose and maltodextrin.
|Sugar-free Vanilla Syrup (1oz or 2 tbsp.)||Regular Vanilla Syrup (1oz or 2 tbsp.)|
How to Order Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup and the Mistakes to Avoid
You can add sugar-free vanilla syrup to any drink in the same way that you add regular syrups. If the drink already comes with regular syrup, simply ask the barista to substitute the regular syrup with SFVS. For example, you can order a sugar-free vanilla latte or a caramel macchiato with sugar-free vanilla instead of regular vanilla.
Read the full list of the syrup flavors that are offered at Starbucks.
Note that when you substitute the main flavor in a drink with sugar-free vanilla, you are likely to change its taste completely. For example, substituting toffee nut syrup with SFVS in a toffee nut latte makes the drink a sugar-free vanilla latte.
Similarly, swapping cinnamon dolce with SFVS when ordering a cinnamon dolce latte makes the drink a sugar-free vanilla latte.
Therefore, when ordering a drink with sugar-free vanilla syrup, you do not want to swap the main syrup that gives the drink its name and flavor unless you are absolutely sure that that’s your intention.
Here is a separate article where we break down the extra syrup policy at Starbucks and explain the best way to add syrups to a drink without paying extra.
The best way to add sugar-free vanilla syrup is by substituting it in drinks that come with vanilla or neutral flavors such as classic syrup, or liquid cane sugar as the standard sweetener so that you don’t lose the core flavor of the drink.
Alternatively, split the number of pumps between the core syrup and sugar-free vanilla to retain the core flavor of the drink.
Starbucks Sugar-Free Vanilla Nutrition Facts
Nutritional facts per 30ml (2 tbsp)
- Calories 0
- Total Carbs 1g
- Total Sugar 1g
- Total Fats 0
- Sodium 0mg
- Protein 0
- Potassium 8mg
Starbucks Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup vs Regular Vanilla
The sugar-free vanilla syrup has a slightly weaker vanilla flavor than the regular vanilla syrup. Sugar-free vanilla adds zero calories whereas regular vanilla adds about 80 calories per ounce.
Since sugar-free vanilla is actually sweet, you risk over-sweetening your drink if you add more syrup in an attempt to get a bigger vanilla flavor.
Critics of light syrups claim that sugar-free vanilla, like all the other sugar-free syrups, has an unpleasant chemical aftertaste.
The best way to overcome this aftertaste is by adding equal parts of sugar-free syrup and Stevia or Splenda into your drink. So for every pump of SFVS, add a packet of Stevia or Splenda.
Is Starbucks Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup Keto?
No, Starbucks sugar-free vanilla syrup is not Keto as it contains maltodextrin which has a higher glycemic index than sugar. This means that it may cause spikes in blood glucose.
Since most people are likely to add a high number of SFVS pumps into their drink, they are likely to have a high net carb which is anti-Keto.
Is Sugar-Free the Same as Zero sugar?
No, sugar-free syrups are not zero sugar. Sugar-free means the syrup has at most 0.5g of sugar per serving. For reference, one cold bar pump of Starbucks sugar-free vanilla is about 7.5ml and has about 0.25g of sugar.
Starbucks Healthy Sweeteners
Most of the Starbucks syrups add both sugar and flavor except classic syrup and liquid cane sugar which add sweetness only. Even brown sugar has a caramelly twist to it.
Pure sweetening syrups are easy to replace with healthier alternatives such as Splenda and Stevia in the raw which are available at Starbucks.
You can ask the barista to mix Stevia or Splenda into the drink or ask for Stevia or Splenda packets separately. Both Stevia and Splenda are much sweeter than regular sugar so you do not want to turn your drink into a sugar bomb.
Stevia and Splenda are good choices for people with diabetes type 2 as they provide the sweetening benefits of regular sugar without adding sugar or calories. [Source]
However, for people on a Keto diet, consuming Splenda or Stevia in the raw may knock you out of Ketosis as they are both high in net carbs. Some customers are fond of adding up to 10 or more packets of Splenda or Stevia into one drink.
Whereas Starbucks previously offered Whole Earth Stevia which was Keto-friendly, it has since switched to Stevia in the raw which gets a bad rap from Keto fans.
Splenda doesn’t fare any better either as apparently, commercial Splenda contains dextrose (glucose) and maltodextrin which are bad for Ketosis.
Final Thoughts About Starbucks Sugar-Free Syrups
Sugar-free vanilla syrup is the only sugar-free syrup available at Starbucks. The SFVS has zero calories and 1 gram per fluid ounce (30ml).
Starbucks also offers Stevia in the raw and Splenda which are low in sugar and calories.