Diabetes-Friendly Dunkin’ Donuts Drinks and Snacks

With 12,600 Dunkin’ Donuts worldwide, most of us stumble across one pretty frequently. It’s a convenient stop for a morning jolt or a quick bite on the run, but the place is not exactly known for diabetes-friendly options.

You might suppose that they only have fattening and sugar-laden foods, but surprise! Dunkin’ Donuts actually has some great lower-carb options. And the menu keeps getting bigger: Dunkin’ Donuts is actually in the process of removing the word “Donuts” from its name completely. With a few modifications, you can enjoy many drinks and snacks without worrying about your blood sugar or your waistline.

Here’s how to order the healthiest choices at Dunkin’ Donuts:

Coffee Drinks: Start with the Basics and Then Spice It Up Low-Carb Style

Dunkin’ Donuts has a lot of drink options with snazzy flavors, including a constantly changing seasonal menu. You’re going to need to ignore pretty much all of that. Some of the dessert-flavored drinks have nearly 200 grams of carbohydrates in them. Yikes!

Instead, you want to think about the menu as if you’re inventing new recipes from scratch using the ingredients they have on hand. Start with one of the basic coffees types — black coffee, Americano, cold brew, latte, macchiato — and build your perfect drink, one ingredient at a time.

Here are your options:

The Base

  • A black coffee, whether hot or iced, has zero grams of carbohydrates (although it can still raise your blood sugar!).
  • The same goes for the cold-brewed black coffee, and espresso.
  • An americano, which is made only from black coffee and water, shouldn’t have any carbs either, but DD does confusingly list its carb count at 2g.

The other bases have some carbohydrates because they include dairy (or dairy substitutes):

  • A classic macchiato has only a splash of dairy, but Dunkins’ version is pretty generous with the milk. Made with whole milk, a medium macchiato has 10g of carbs.
  • Cappuccino combines milk and milk foam. A medium made with whole milk also has 10g of carbs.
  • A latte is almost entirely milk. A medium made with whole milk has 14g of carbs.

Choose Your Milk

If you’re having anything but black coffee, you have a milk choice to make. Dunkin’ Donuts should carry all of these options. The following carbohydrate counts are for a medium latte, and will vary depending on the drink and its size:

  • Whole Milk: 14g carbs
  • Skim Milk: 15g carbs
  • Coconut Milk: 3g carbs
  • Oat Milk: 24g carbs
  • Almond Milk: 17g carbs

Coconut is by far the lowest-carb option, and whole milk is just a little bit better than skim.

And then there’s cream, which can be added to any drink. Cream has fewer carbs than whole milk (and less protein and a lot more fat). You might be able to get them to make you a latte using cream, if you’re not watching your calories, that is. A splash of cream in black coffee is only 1g of carbs.

For those especially concerned with added sugars, it might be worth noting that the oat milk typically has a higher carbohydrate count — it’s just the nature of the drink. But the almond milk’s carb count is mostly the result of added sugar. It’s probably a much higher glycemic index ingredient.

Experiment With Flavor Shots

I really enjoy the variety of flavor “shots” that Dunkin’ Donuts has to offer. It is important to note that flavor shots are all unsweetened and sugar-free.

Very important: you are asking for flavor shots, not flavor swirls. The flavor swirls are heavily sweetened!

The flavor shots available are:

  • French Vanilla
  • Hazelnut
  • Toasted Almond
  • Blueberry
  • Raspberry
  • Coconut

With these options, you can create your own drink, such as a caramel macchiato, cinnamon latte, or an iced coffee with vanilla and hazelnut. The options are endless!

Alternative Sweeteners

DD disappointingly only carries one type of artificial sweetener: Splenda. If you’re a fan, that’s great.

If you’re not a Splenda person — or if, like me, you’ve repeatedly found out that your barista used regular sugar despite your instructions — I’d recommend bringing your preferred sweetener with you. There are so many great options now!

Tea Time

Tea at Dunkin’ is just like coffee: you better avoid the pre-made drinks and create your own. The chai and matcha latte teas are both loaded with added sugar, as are the “refreshers.”

Stick with the unsweetened teas, which are all calorie-free and carb-free. The hot tea options are:

  • Bold breakfast black tea
  • Chamomile fields herbal infusion
  • Cool mint herbal infusion
  • Decaf breakfast black
  • Harmony leaf green tea
  • Hibiscus kiss herbal infusion

For iced tea, choose between two:

  • Unsweetened ice green tea
  • Unsweetened iced black tea

Use dairy products and flavor shots to create a custom refreshing drink, like Unsweetened Green Iced Tea with Raspberry.

Source: Dunkin’

Focus on Protein Foods

While the donuts and muffins at Dunkin’ Donuts are almost irresistible, they are loaded with calories, fat, and sugar. Thankfully, they do have some great food options for anyone trying to be more health-conscious.

All of their breakfast sandwiches can easily become low-carb and even keto by simply removing the bread offering. If you’d like to keep your sandwich intact, your best bet is the wake-up wrap which only contains 12g net carbs and 180 calories. To pack in the protein, try the All You Can Meat Breakfast Croissant. With two strips of bacon, two slices of ham, and sausage patty, American cheese, and an egg, you won’t need the croissant! This will give you 25 grams of protein to start your day and will keep you full for hours.

They also offer Snackin’ Bacon, which I had no idea about until I started researching this article. It is the perfect portion and a great crispy low-carb snack. It comes in at 190 calories, 12g of fat, and 10g net carbs.

It is great to know that there are low-carb and keto options at such a popular coffee chain. Use the advice above and find your own new favorites. Even low-carb eaters can put Dunkin’ back into rotation.

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