Food Trends

Starbucks' New Cloud Macchiato Is Made With Egg Whites—but Is it Healthy?

You’ve probably heard about Starbucks’ new Cloud Macchiato. You know, the one being promoted by Ariana Grande (who’s apparently a very big fan of clouds). Sure, clouds are cute and all, but we have a bit of a problem with the cloud-like foam that gives this drink its Instagram-ready aesthetic.

Multiple news outlets have reported that Starbuck’s cloud foam is made with egg whites, and although that’s accurate, the problem is that many of us think of egg whites as healthy. But don’t be fooled: Adding egg whites to a drink that’s loaded with sugar and other sweeteners does not make it good for you.

“While the egg white powder may add to the texture of the drink, it doesn’t make the drink a healthy choice,” says Cynthia Sass, RD, Health contributing nutrition editor. “A grande [which is a medium] only provides 5 grams of protein, but nearly 7 teaspoons of sugar, exceeding the recommended 6 maximum teaspoons per day for women.”

Yes, egg whites are high in protein and low in calories, fat, and cholesterol, making them a healthy breakfast option when eaten on their own or with fruit and veggies. But egg whites can’t possibly cancel out all of the unhealthy ingredients in a sugary Starbucks drink like this one.

“[The drink] also contains a preservative, corn syrup, and other sweeteners… To evaluate the healthfulness of any food or beverage, check out the ingredients, not just the calories,” Sass says. “This drink should be considered an occasional dessert or treat, not a way to start your day.”

Some background on the Cloud Macchiato: A few days ago Starbucks teased the collaboration by tweeting two cloud emojis, a coffee cup emoji, and a green heart emoji. Just minutes later, Grande tagged Starbucks in a very similar tweet of her own, which had two cloud emojis, a coffee cup emoji, a black heart emoji, and the release date. The next day, Starbucks announced the drink, which comes in caramel and cinnamon, and Grande fans went crazy.

Sorry Starbucks, but we’re going to have to say thank u, next to the Cloud Macchiato.

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