“It’s time to start thinking of Starbucks for great food”.
Or so says the promo material for the new La Boulange line of “artisanal pastries” being offered at the ubiquitous coffee shop.
La Boulange Bakery is a San Francisco institution that has been serving up “fantastic brunches and healthful lunches” in the Bay Area since the 1990s. You may have never been to La Boulange, but if you’ve been to a Starbucks in the past month, you’ve no doubt been bombarded with the advertising blitz featuring the new line of pastries.
Why did Starbucks partner with La Boulange? Well, it certainly wasn’t to improve your health! According to the company’s FAQs, somehow, “Through this great partnership, we are able to make your Starbucks experience more welcoming and satisfying than ever.”
Provided that you consider white flour, butter, and copious amounts of sugar and salt welcoming and satisfying ingredients, you’ll be stoked on these new options clogging your coffee wait pastry case.
To be fair – Starbucks isn’t claiming any of these products are even remotely healthy; but it is somewhat distressing to see that not-a-one is even on the cusp of being a nutritious pick:
- The average La Boulange pastry at Starbucks contains 7 grams of saturated fat, roughly 1/3 of your daily max. If a pastry represents 1/3 of your daily food intake, that’s fine, but let’s be honest – it doesn’t.
- The only offering with 3 g fiber or more per serving is the Wheat Spinach Savory Square (4 g fiber/square), but it tops out at 13 g saturated fat and almost 600 mg sodium, which kind of negates the fiber factor here.
- When taken to task on the high fat/high calorie nature of French pastries, the Starbucks site cites a, “Variety of options – from more indulgent treats to lighter bites with as few as 170 calories”. Problem is, there’s only ONE sub-200 calorie pastry (out of 28 items), and that’s the notoriously light Flourless Chewy Chocolate Cookie. The rest of the treats set you back an average of 330 calories, roughly double the “lighter bite” line.
If you’re looking for a better bet at Starbucks, stick to the old standbys:
- Classic Whole Grain Oatmeal or Hearty Blueberry Grain Oatmeal – at 160 calories, 4 g dietary fiber, and just 125 mg sodium, these are the real meal winners at Starbucks.
- If you’ve gotta stay with a sandwich, they’ll cost you some sodium, but the Spinach & Feta Breakfast Wrap with 290 calories, 6 g fiber, and 19 g protein will keep you fueled for awhile.
- Another good option is the Reduced-Fat Turkey Bacon Breakfast Sandwich – Starbucks recently retooled the recipe and the bread is less chewy, but still contains some whole grains and 13 g protein.
The bottom line: if you’re REALLY wondering why French women don’t get fat, it’s because they probably don’t eat at Starbucks.