Pumpkin spice latte season is officially here. On Tuesday, Starbucks announced the return of its most beloved seasonal latte flavor, the PSL. Some coffee drinkers say its too early for a grande cup of fall magic, but others are rejoicing — and requesting iced versions since it’s still a little too warm for hot beverages. And while Starbucks isn’t the only coffee chain that offers seasonal pumpkin spice beverages, it’s one of the most popular. That said, popularity doesn’t exactly mean health-conscious. Starbucks doesn’t use real spices in its pumpkin spice latte recipe, which begs the question: Are Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes bad for you?
We answer the burning question, plus how many calories are in a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, ahead.
What is Starbucks pumpkin spice made of
Pumpkin spice is typically made up of four ingredients: ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. However, some recipes also call for allspice. While Starbucks tops its pumpkin spice beverages off with a little spice flavoring, it doesn’t actually use the spice in its pumpkin spice latte. Instead, it’s recipe called for something called Pumpkin Spice Sauce, which consists of sugar, condensed milk, and pumpkin puree and a little bit of vegetable juice for color.
How many calories are in a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte
Starbucks frappucinos — including the pumpkin spice frappucino — have some of the highest calories on the menu. And the pumpkin spice latte is not too far behind. According to the company’s website, a venti pumpkin spice latte with 2% milk has 470 calories with ten grams of saturated fat and a whopping 64 grams of sugar.
A grande has 380 calories with eight grams of saturated fat and 50 grams of sugar, and a tall has 300 calories with seven grams of saturated fat and 39 grams of sugar.
Are Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes bad for you
A pumpkin spice latte isn’t the worst thing you could order from Starbucks’ menu. However, it’s not exactly the best either. If consumed frequently, the high sugar content paired with the saturated fat can have an impact on your health. The good news is there are ways to make your Starbucks pumpkin spice latte — and other seasonal beverages — healthier.
The first step in making any Starbucks beverage better for you is to say no to whipped cream. Skipping the whipped cream from a venti pumpkin spiced latte with 2% milk shaves off 70 calories. Next, consider your milk options. Starbucks offers 2% milk, soy milk, whole milk, nonfat milk, coconut milk, and almond milk. Ordering a venti almond milk pumpkin spice latte without whipped cream lowers calories to 290, sugars to 47, and saturated fat to 0.5 grams. Size also matters. A tall almond milk pumpkin spice latte without whipped cream equals 180 calories, 28 grams of sugar, and zero grams of saturated fat. And a short is even less than that (120 calories, 19 grams of sugar, and zero grams of saturated fat).
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