Starbucks New Frappuccino Tastes Like Funnel Cake—Here's How to Make Your Order Healthier

Here are some dietitian-approved tips to cut down on the sugar and calories in your drink.

With the weather warming up and COVID-19 restrictions easing, I'm feeling ready to let loose a bit and enjoy time outside. Starbucks tapped into that summer energy with their latest beverage, the Funnel Cake Frappuccino.

"We wanted to capture the joy of this time of year, and we thought about those simple pleasures that really encapsulate summer," said Sara Bennett, senior product developer for Starbucks R&D team. "That led us to state fairs and funnel cake—just wanting to channel that sense of carefree fun."

The new beverage launched on May 11th in the U.S. and Canada and is supposed to evoke a day at the fair. The drink features juicy strawberry puree, whipped cream layered with blended frappuccino roast coffee, ice and topped with crunchy funnel cake pieces dusted with powdered sugar. Yum!

New Starbucks Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino
Starbucks - Getty Images / Michael Duva

As tasty as this sounds, it's no secret that many Starbucks beverages are pretty loaded with sugar and empty calories. (Here are 10 Starbucks Drinks That Have Less Than 10 Grams of Sugar.) And while there's nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time, I asked dietitian Lisa Valente, M.S., RD and nutrition editor at EatingWell, for a few tips on how to enjoy the new Funnel Cake Frappuccino while reducing its added sugar and carbs.

Size matters, so consider ordering a small (or tall as they say at Starbucks), Valente says. There are 290 calories in the tall Funnel Cake Frappuccino versus 500 in the venti. The smaller drink also saves you 33g of sugar compared to a large. However, it won't be a huge surprise that this dessert-flavored drink still clocks 35g (or about 9tsp) of added sugar, which is more than the American Heart Association recommends per day for women.

"Don't be afraid to customize your order to cut down on sugar even more," adds Valente. Consider skipping the whipped cream if it's not your favorite or ask for a smaller amount. The added syrups are also a big culprit for added sugar so don't be afraid to decrease the number of syrup pumps they add. You can customize these requests in the app if you order ahead or just nicely ask your barista.

All in all, we can't wait to treat ourselves to this tasty new menu addition on a hot summer day! But we'll definitely keep it to a once in a while treat, just like the funnel cake it's inspired by, and try our healthier whipped drink recipes to cool down on a sunny day.

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