new witch's new frappuccino

Starbucks’ new Frappuccino uses chia seeds, but does that make it healthier?

Chia seeds are sort of magical. You can make an egg substitute with them. Soak them in a little almond milk and vanilla extract and they turn into a healthy pudding. But they’re definitely not an ingredient we ever expected to find in a Starbucks drink. The new Witch’s Brew Frappuccino is proving us wrong, though.

Starbucks just announced that they’re launching a new Frappuccino tomorrow Friday, October 26, called the Witch’s Brew Frappuccino. The concept is, frankly, adorable. Green-tinted sugar sprinkled on the top stands in for “powdered lizard scales,” while green-tinted chia seeds swirled throughout the drink are the “bat warts.” The tinted toppings are an expected part of limited-edition Starbucks drinks by now. But chia seeds? Since when does Starbucks blend healthy ingredients into their Frappuccinos?

Chia seeds fall solidly in the “health food” category, but does that make this new Frappuccino a little healthier than the others? We break down what you need to know about the Starbucks Halloween drink.

What you need to know about the chia seeds in the new Witch’s Brew Frappuccino

Yes, chia seeds are an easy addition to your meal plan to boost your overall health. They’re packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids and tons of fiber for their size. Fiber does indeed help your body if you’re going to consume a lot of sugar. Fiber helps slow the digestion of these simple carbs, keeping your blood sugar more stable. That means less of a rise and subsequent crash in your blood sugar levels, which can also mean fewer cravings later on.

new witch's brew frappuccino
You can see the chia seeds swirled into the new Witch’s Brew Frappuccino. Photo: Courtesy of Starbucks

But do the chia seeds in this new Starbucks drink give you these benefits? We have bad news for those of you hoping they’d help you avoid a sugar rush. Although one serving of chia seeds, about 2 tablespoons, packs roughly 11 grams of fiber, this drink does not. According to Starbucks, the new Frappuccino boasts zero grams of fiber. That means they’re not using nearly enough to get you the health benefits of these tiny seeds.

That means if you order a grande of the Witch’s Brew Frappuccino, you’ll get 53 grams of sugar and nothing to slow that down. (That’s just over 13 teaspoons of sugar, if that’s easier to picture.)

Does that mean you shouldn’t enjoy the new Frappuccino?

So, does that mean this limited-edition drink is something you should skip? Heck no! If you like new Starbucks drinks, and they make you happy, go get one. Just don’t think that the addition of chia seeds makes this one any healthier than the others. We all know by now that they’re pretty heavy on the calories and sugar. Just know that this one is the same.

If you’re trying to lose weight and keep it off, it can be helpful to do some planning. You can easily budget for the 350 calories (grande, nonfat milk, with whipped cream) so you can try the Witch’s Brew without derailing your weight loss plans. One easy way to do that is to cut out 50 extra calories from each day over the course of a week.

It’s tempting to enjoy this drink on an empty stomach to help save more calories, but please don’t. Have something with some fiber and fat before you order your new Frappuccino. That will help your blood sugar levels stay more stable, helping you feel more satisfied throughout the day. (Read: You won’t find yourself starving and jonesing for more sugar 30 minutes later.)

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