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The healthiest Costa Coffee options

Tamara Willner
Written by

Tamara Willner

Medically reviewed by

Fiona Moncrieff

4 min read
Last updated July 2024

The healthiest options at Costa Coffee will be those lower in refined carbohydrates (like bread) and higher in protein, vegetables, and whole grains.

Here are our favourite healthy options for you to choose from at Costa Coffee as selected by our team of registered dietitians and nutritionists.

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Lower-carb meals

If weight loss is your goal, the best option is: 

  • Chicken and bacon Caesar salad + natural mixed nuts packet

This healthy meal will leave you satisfied and can be included as part of a lower-carb eating plan. 

For vegetarians, the lower-carb options are more limited. We recommend:

  • Feta and quinoa salad + natural mixed nuts packet (v)

Although slightly higher in carbohydrates, this salad is still a healthy option. Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine of our essential amino acids.

Combined with the feta, this salad has plenty of protein which will help to keep you fuller for longer, plus more fruit and vegetables than sandwich based options. 

Higher-carb meals

These options are all balanced meals but are slightly higher in carbohydrate content:

  1. Tuna melt panini (v)
  2. Free-range egg mayo sandwich (v)
  3. Chicken fajita wrap
  4. Mozzarella and tomato panini
  5. Vegan BBQ Chick’n panini (v)
  6. Smoked salmon and soft cheese sandwich

Lower-carb snacks

  1. Natural mixed nuts packet (v)
  2. Protein nut mix (v)


Once you have chosen a balanced meal or snack, remember that many drinks contain hidden sugars that would dramatically increase the carb content of your meal.

Many drinks are close to or exceed the maximum recommended daily allowance (RDA) of sugar in the UK (30g). Here are some examples:

  1. White hot chocolate (medio size): 34.3g sugar (over the max RDA)
  2. Mango and passion fruit cooler (medio size): 32.4g sugar (over the max RDA)

To keep your meal lower-carb opt for:

  1. Water
  2. Cappuccino, latte, flat white, espresso, or Americano coffee without sugar (try to avoid drinking caffeine after lunchtime as it can reduce the quality of your sleep
  3. Herbal teas

Flexibility is the key to sustained weight loss

Eating out at cafes is an enjoyable social experience that you shouldn’t have to miss out on for the sake of your health journey.

Many people worry that going to restaurants or cafes always means overindulging; however, it’s possible to eat healthily when eating out.

Costa Coffee is one of the nation’s favourite coffee shops and offers a comfortable space ideal for working or socialising.

Amongst muffins, croissants, and paninis, there are some healthier alternatives when you find yourself eating there.

Eating out is often a much-anticipated treat. It’s perfectly ok to choose a more indulgent option if you want to.

The important thing is that this isn’t a frequent indulgence, and you focus on finding the motivation to return to your healthy habits afterwards. 

Science suggests that a reduced carbohydrate diet is the most effective diet for weight loss.

Lower-carb diets are particularly effective for those who struggle with blood glucose control (e.g. people with type 2 diabetes).

On top of this, eating plenty of non-starchy vegetables (e.g. broccoli or peppers), protein (e.g. meat or fish), and healthy fats (e.g. olive oil or nuts) has many health benefits.

If you’re looking for a long-term weight loss solution that encourages flexibility so you can still enjoy eating out at restaurants, you could try Second Nature.

Second Nature’s approach: Indulgent but supports weight loss 

In 2022, the NHS published data in the British Medical Journal from the National Weight Management and Diabetes Prevention programme, where five providers delivered weight loss services in the UK.

The results showed that after 12 months, Second Nature was more than twice as effective as the four other providers.

How does Second Nature’s approach work?

We approach nutrition and healthy eating differently. We don’t count calories, track macros, weigh food, or assign strict targets on your intake.

We provide you with evidence-based guidance on a balanced diet and teach you to understand what your physical and emotional drivers for eating are to reach your weight loss goals.

We also provide tools, such as our hunger scale and mindful eating techniques, that help you tune into your physical hunger cues and manage your food choices.

Alongside this, we help you build healthy habits that you can enjoy for a lifetime to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Our feedback inbox is filled with people like Jo, who lost over eight stone to achieve a healthy body weight on Second Nature after following our nutrition guidelines and receiving the support of our app and health coaches.

The difference is that members of Second Nature learn to love food again. They’re no longer restricted. They’re liberated.

If you’d like to join over 150,000 others who’ve joined Second Nature, lost weight and kept it off while enjoying eating out at their favourite restaurants, then click here to take our health quiz.

Take home message

  • Enjoy a croissant, muffin, or panini when you really want one, then focus on staying motivated to return to healthy habits afterwards.
  • Reduced carb diets seem to be the most effective for weight loss.
  • If you don’t want to indulge, you can order several healthier, lower-carb options.
  • Be mindful of drinks that contain hidden sugars.


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