You just want to grab a hot drink and something to eat like everyone else. But you know that after you down that drive thru breakfast or snack or order that Venti sized drink that you’ll be bloated like a balloon or worse.
Hot coffee? Iced Frappuccino? Matcha Latte made with almond milk? What is your beverage of choice?
If you have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) what are your Low FODMAP Choices At Starbucks & Dunkin’ Donuts?
This article takes a look at these two very popular chains; we have pored over the menus and have come up with the best choices for those following the low FODMAP Diet. or anyone who tends to get gut issues when they hit fast food joints.
It is certainly more economical to make coffee drinks at home, and yet, many of us – including FODMAPers – spend our money there. Starbucks revenue as of 2021 was $30.4 billion, while Dunkin’ Donuts was $1.37 billion. That’s a lot of drinks (and accompanying foods) being ordered out of the house.
This article is part of our exclusive fast food series. Be sure to also check out our Low FODMAP Fast Food Options and Low FODMAP Chain Restaurant Options (coming soon).
- Coffee Or Tea
- Let’s Talk Caffeine
- Coffee And Acidity
- What Menu Items We Chose To List
- Determining FODMAPs
- Fat, Sugar & Sodium
- Serving Sizes & FODMAPs
- Serving Sizes At Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts
- Flavorings, Spices & FODMAPs
- A Note About Gluten & Dairy
- Is The Sourdough Bread At Starbucks & Dunkin’ Donuts Low FODMAP?
- Starbucks Low FODMAP Menu Options
- Dunkin’ Donuts Low FODMAP Menu Options
- The Takeaway
Coffee Or Tea
Coffee and tea (as in camelia sinensis) are both low FODMAP. Many herbal “teas” are not, although some are. We cover both coffee and tea in general in our two articles, IBS, The Low FODMAP Diet, Coffee & Coffee Drinks, and Tea & FODMAPs; we highly recommend reading those articles along with this one.
Let’s Talk Caffeine
Caffeine is not a FODMAP, but it can be a gut irritant. Most of us know our caffeine limits, and it makes sense to pay attention to your individual needs.
BTW did you know that a shot of espresso has less caffeine than an 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee?
Coffee And Acidity
Many of us with gut issues are dealing with GERD as well. Acidity in foods and drink can be a huge issue. Unfortunately, if you consult Dr. Google (you shouldn’t be, but we know you do) you will come away believing that dark roast coffees are higher in acidity and end up believing that choosing lighter roasts would be your best bet. Not so fast. We dove deep into the coffee-and-acidity research and have interviewed coffee scientists (yes, that’s a thing).
The acidity in coffee is not just one type. Chlorogenic acid breaks down to quinic and caffeic acid with heat exposure, during roasting, long extraction time, or when letting drip coffee sit on the warmer too long. The darker the roast, the more quinic acid that is present, but there are no definitive studies showing that quinic acid has been linked to any digestive issues. Di-chlorogenic acid is a compound that is more often linked to gastric upset, and this is highest in lighter roast coffees, and particularly coffee brewed from robusta coffee beans.
What this means is that lighter roast coffees may have a higher percentage of the type of acid that triggers digestive upset, especially if the coffee is made from robusta beans, as opposed to arabica. Of course, everyone’s digestion is individual, so go by what your gut tells you.
Is Cold Brew Less Acidic?
Short answer: No. We know that many people believe that cold brew is less acidic, and again, Google would have you believe the same thing. (Hopefully by now you know that just because you read something on the Internet does not make it true – about coffee, the low FODMAP diet, or anything else!)
According to current 2020 research and Niny Rao, PhD a professor of chemistry, “if a consumer’s goal is to drink a lower acid coffee, they’d be better off seeking a darker roast, but that it doesn’t actually matter much whether the coffee is brewed with cold water or hot.” In addition, antioxidants were higher in hot brew!
What Menu Items We Chose To List
The menus at Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are large and evolving, and also have seasonal items. We have focused on the more popular basic items from the main menus, as well as some seasonal favorites (like Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, Peppermint Mocha Latte and Gingerbread Latte).
The options presented as low FODMAP have been researched thoroughly. We are not declaring that these are the only low FODMAP options available at each restaurant. Please use our articles on How to Read Food Labels for the Low FODMAP Diet with Confidence and Understanding FDA Nutrition Panels to help you make decisions about additional options.
Please note that we spent countless hours corresponding with corporate offices in regard to the ingredients in their menu items. Our recommendations are based on what was stated to be fact at the time. Formulas can change, and also always remember that just because something is low FODMAP does not guarantee that you will not have a negative digestive reaction.
Please read our article, Ask The Right Question: Is It Low FODMAP vs. Will I Tolerate This?
Fat, Sugar & Sodium
A lot of fast food is very high in fat, and while fat is not a FODMAP issue, it can be a gut irritant. These fast foods can also be very high in sodium (salt) and sugar, and again, while not a FODMAP issue, can have negative digestive and physical effects for some. Know your limits and always eat to your tolerance.
Oftentimes, with fancy coffee drinks in particular, it is the serving size (often copious) that is the issue for us FODMAPers. Watch your serving sizes. Maybe stick with small and medium sized orders.
Serving Sizes & FODMAPs
Hopefully by now you know that serving sizes are everything when it comes to the low FODMAP diet. The menu items we have listed here are considered to be low FODMAP, but the tolerated serving sizes will vary person to person. You might be able to tolerate a Grande Iced Matcha Latte made with almond milk, but not a Vente. Please read our article, What Is A Low FODMAP Serving Size?
Serving Sizes At Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts
Small? Tall? Short? Medium? Grande? Venti? Let’s look at ordering terminology at Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. As we have said before, best to order smaller than larger to keep FODMAPs, caffeine, fat and sugar on the lower side.
- Demi = 3-ounces
- Short = 8-ounces
- Tall = 12-ounces
- Grande = 16-ounces
- Venti = 20-ounces
- Tall = 12-ounces
- Grande = 16-ounces
- Venti = 20-ounces
- Trenta = 30-ounces
- Small = 10-ounces
- Medium = 14-ounces
- Large = 20-ounces
- Extra Large = 24-ounces
- Small = 16-ounces
- Medium = 24-ounces
- Large = 32-ounces
Flavorings, Spices & FODMAPs
We have inquired about and researched the items listed below, but if you are looking into fast-food offerings on your own, you have to be expert label readers and understand what ingredients are.
In the U.S. garlic and onion cannot be “hidden” within spices but can be hidden within natural flavors/flavorings. Other countries handle this labeling differently and, by the way, artificial flavors are never an issue. Please read our article, How To Decipher “Natural Flavors” & “Spices” on Food Labels for the Low FODMAP Diet, which discusses the U.S., Canada, Australia and Europe labeling.
When it comes to beverages, we don’t have to worry as much about garlic and onion, but higher FODMAP sweet ingredients like cherry or mango derivatives may lurk. Also, by definition, the term “natural flavors” is a bit ambiguous and may possibly include inulin or chicory root, both of which are high FODMAP.
A Note About Gluten & Dairy
The low FODMAP diet is neither gluten-free nor dairy free. Therefore, small amounts of wheat, for instance, are low FODMAP, and since the diet is lower in lactose (but not dairy-free) you can enjoy a portion of whipped cream! This opens up choices for us when it comes to coffee shop menu items. But a little whipped cream on top? Sure. A mountain of it? Nope.
If you eat gluten-free or dairy-free, use your personal guidelines to make decisions about the following recommendations. Most of these companies have guidelines on their websites that detail what is gluten-free, and sometimes what is dairy-free.
Some community members have told us that their local Starbucks carries lactose-free dairy milk (cow’s milk). How lucky is that? (This was in Toronto, BTW). It is low FODMAP, so it offers them an additional choice. Does your local coffee shop offer lactose-free cow’s milk? Let us know!
Please read our articles, The Low FODMAP Diet Is Not Gluten-Free and also Lactose, Dairy & The Low FODMAP Diet.
Is The Sourdough Bread At Starbucks & Dunkin’ Donuts Low FODMAP?
Speaking of gluten, we have to address the sourdough toast that is now available at many Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. But are they it low FODMAP?
We were able to find out quite a bit about Dunkin’ Donuts sourdough formulation. According to Dunkin’s Research and Development Manager, Josh Gomes, “Dunkin’s Sourdough Bread is one of the only mass-produced sourdough’s that uses a ‘true’ sourdough starter.”
We were not able to find out as much about Starbuck’s sourdough, which they use in a few different ways. We do know that the Crispy Grilled Cheese on Sourdough is high FODMAP, as it contains garlic within the butter spread that they use.
For more information, see the food options below, and read our article, How To Choose Low FODMAP Bread.
Starbucks Low FODMAP Menu Options
Let’s look at what someone following the low FODMAP diet can order at Starbucks. And yes, you can enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte (also known as PSL), with some specific ordering instructions. Get ready for the drive-through!
- Caffè Americano
- Veranda Blend – black or made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Dark Roast – black or made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Pike Place Roast – black or made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Decaf Pike Place – black or made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Caffè Misto made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Cappuccino made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Espresso Con Panna
- Flat White made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Caffè Latte made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Espresso Macchiato made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Caffè Mocha made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Hot Chocolate made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Cinnamon Dolce Crème made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Espresso Frappuccino made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Caffè Vanilla made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Matcha Latté made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Royal English Breakfast Tea
- Royal English Breakfast Tea Latte made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) – order made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk, whipped cream, Pumpkin Spice Topping, but no Pumpkin Spice Sauce.
- Peppermint Mocha Latte – order made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk, whipped cream, Mocha Sauce, Peppermint Syrup and chocolate curls.
- Gingerbread Latte – order made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk, whipped cream, and Gingerbread Syrup.
- Coffee Frappuccino made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Mocha Frappuccino made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Matcha Crème Frappuccino made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Starbucks Reserve Cold Brew
- Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee
- Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee with Milk made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Starbucks Reserve Nitro Cold Brew
- Nitro Cold Brew
- Iced Americano
- Iced Coffee
- Iced Espresso
- Iced Coffee with Milk made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
- Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
- Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso (small amount of malt flavoring from barley)
- Iced Shaken Espresso made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Flat White made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Starbucks Reserve Iced Latte made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Caffè Latte made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Starbucks Blonde Vanilla Latte made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Caffè Mocha made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Black Tea
- Iced Black Tea Lemonade
- Iced Royal English Breakfast Tea Latte made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Matcha Tea Latte made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Matcha Lemonade
- Evolution Fresh Orange Juice
- Spindrift Grapefruit Sparkling Water
- Spindrift Raspberry Lime Sparkling Water
- Galvanina Sparkling Water
- Galvanina Sparkling Water – Lime
- Bacon & Gruyere Egg Bites
- Marshmallow Dream Bar
- Cheese Trio Protein Box – omit dried apricots and have just a few crackers
- Cheddar & Uncured Salami Box – watch dried fruit and nut serving size, and have just a few crackers
- Cheddar & Fruit Protein Box – watch apple serving size and have just a few crackers
- Rolled & Steel-Cut Oatmeal – skip toppings, except blueberries
- Strawberry Overnight Grains
- Salted Almond Chocolate Bites
- Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
- Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups – have one
- Squirrel Brand Classic Almonds
- Squirrel Brand Fruit & Nut – try a small serving
- Starbucks Butter Gourmet Popcorn
- Simply Salted Kettle Potato Chips
- Salt & Vinegar Simply Salted Kettle Potato Chips
- Sweet Potato Simply Salted Kettle Potato Chips
- String Cheese
Dunkin’ Donuts Low FODMAP Menu Options
Dunkin’ Donuts is far more than donuts. In fact, their beverage revenue is higher than that of their baked goods. Recent statistics state that 60% of their revenue is for coffee and coffee drinks. We were surprised to learn that a huge amount of their sales goes to their Dunkin’ Bottled Iced Coffee, however, even the “classic” version contains milk, so unless you are on good terms with lactose, you should probably skip it.
- Coffee – black or made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Latte – made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Macchiato – made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Cappuccino – made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Black Tea – black or made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Matcha Latte – made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Chai Latte – made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Coffee – black or made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Cold Brew – black or made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Americano
- Iced Latte – made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Macchiato – made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Cappuccino – made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Tea – black or made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Matcha Latte – made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Iced Chai Latte – made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Frozen Coffee – made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Strawberry Coolatta
- Frozen Matcha Latte – made with almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk
- Egg Patty
- Sourdough Toast
- Slice Cheese
- Turkey Sausage
- Wake Up Wrap – if you do well with a small amount of wheat, you could try this
- Snackin’ Bacon
PS: The Hash Browns contain garlic and onion and are not low FODMAP.
If you are on the road, or just have a daily coffee shop habit, there is no need to steer clear of Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts if you are following the low FODMAP diet. From hot beverages to cold – and even blended drinks and food – we have discovered dozens of low FODMAP options for you.
As with any food we consume while following the low FODMAP diet, there are no guarantees that you will not trigger your IBS. In particular we suggest that you pay attention to serving size; smaller is better in the case of coffee shop drinks.
Also, when it comes to caffeine, it is a stimulant that can irritate the gut and it is present in coffee as well as tea beverages; always eat and drink to your personal tolerances.
Tell Us What You Think
14 comments for “Low FODMAP Choices At Starbucks & Dunkin’ Donuts”
this is AMAAZINGGG thank you!!!! this must have taken an absolutely incredible amount of research thank you so so so much what a game changer!!! there are so many options of drinks that have opened up! absolutely no words to thank you enough!!!!! this article is gold!
YAY!!!! Thank you so much 🙂 We did work hard and hope it helps many!
This makes my heart sooo happy! THANK YOU for doing this! Just curious-the iced green tea at Starbucks has FODMAPS? 🙁 It used to be my favorite low caffeine treat before I stopped going out to eat much…looks like I have PLENTY of other options thanks to you guys, just wondering what the trigger was in that one to see if I “risk” it. 🙂
Hi there, thank you for asking. If you know you tolerate it, then by all means continue to drink it. It contains lemon verbena which has not been lab tested. Probably in a small Enough amount to not trigger symptoms and most people but we worked the list conservatively
This was very helpful. However I wonder about the fact that cold brew is supposed to be so acidic. I switched to cold brew for my daily cup many years ago due to how coffee was aggravating my GERD. My system makes a concentrate that I dilute with water. I wonder if that is why it works for me? I definitely have some reflux when I go back to a traditional drip brew and none with my cold brew. I’ve also in the last couple of years had to eliminate caffeine and since I’ve always preferred French roast, that was challenging. I finally found San Francisco Bay decaf French roast and it is excellent!
Hi there; thank you for taking the time to write. The persistent belief in cold brew being less acidic is out there for sure. The actual science does not back that up, BUT always listen to your gut!
Hi Dédé, thank you so much for this list. It is immensely helpful, and I have already referenced it a few times. Bookmarking!
I had a question about oat milk. According to the Monash app, it isn’t low fodmap unless it’s only a moderate serving (5.78 ounces according to all, I believe?). I saw oat milk listed as an option and my heart leapt bc it is my favorite. Did you include it because it’s not harmful to you, personally? Or if there’s some research I’m missing? Would love to be able to consume it, haha.
Hi there, thank you for that. You might not realize it, but you have actually answered your own question. The Low FODMAP diet is very serving size related, for every food, not just oat milk. So when we say oat milk is Low FODMAP, we are referencing the fact that there is indeed a lab tested Low FODMAP amount of it. You may or may not be able to tolerate more or less. Unless I am specifically talking about some thing that I do personally, all of the information on the site is evidence-based and more general, and based upon what we know from both Monash university in FODMAPFriendly. If you have not tried it as of yet, I would try it with the amount recommended in the Monash app and see how you do. I am assuming you are in the Elimination phase. When you get to your challenge phase you can certainly try larger amounts to see how your digestive system does with it. You might be pleasantly surprised.
This is super helpful, but I’m noticing that neither soy milk nor lactose free milk are listed on any of the Starbucks options. Is there a reason for this? I was under the impression that at least lactose free milk was okay for a low FODMAP diet.
The soy milk used at any of the Starbucks we have looked into is made with whole soy beans, so that is not Low FODMAP. As far as lactose-free dairy milk, yes, it is Low FODMAP, but I have never seen it at a Starbucks! Have you? If so, please let us know where.
I live in Toronto and it is definitely at my local Starbucks!
This is very exciting to hear! I will add this info to the article. Thank you very much – and lucky you!
I noticed Starbucks hot chocolate was listed as low FODMAP, but Dunkin’s hot chocolate was not. Is there a big difference in how Dunkin’s hot chocolate is made?
We assembled this list with their websites info. Starbucks allows low FODMAP alt milks to be used. Dunkin does not.