The Healthiest Drinks You Can Order at Starbucks (and Why the Pumpkin Spice Latte Is One of the Worst)
You’ve heard it time and time again: Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL to those learned in the art of the ‘bucks) is a delicious, sugar-filled, calorie-laden cup of joy. What it lacks in nutritional value it makes up for in taste, and “PSL season” has become a cultural fall phenomenon akin to turtleneck sweaters and the changing leaves.
Now, with PSL season upon us (August 28th marks the first day of sales for 2018), coffee drinkers everywhere are faced with the annual challenge: how often do I let myself drink the liquid dessert? We’ve compiled the healthiest caffeine choices at Starbucks that will still satisfy your sweet tooth. Plus, learn the nutritional value in your PSL — and why it’s better off being your once-in-a-while treat.
Flavored Cafe Americano (hot or iced)
- Nutritional value: 0 Calories, 0 Carbs, 0 Fat, and 0 Protein (before milk and flavor add-ins)
While most people favor flavored lattes, an easy way to cut calories and fat without losing taste is to switch over to an Americano (either hot or iced). The drink base consists solely of water, espresso, and ice if you prefer your Americano cold. You can add or subtract the number of espresso shots for varying flavor and caffeine levels and add in milk, sugar, or flavor shots for taste.
Iced Green Tea Lemonade
- Nutritional value: 70 Calories, 17 Carbs, 0 Fat, 0 Protein
One of your favorite summer drinks is both refreshing and good for your health. Teavana’s Shaken Iced Green Tea Lemonade sold at all Starbucks’ locations aren’t just loaded with antioxidants — they’re sugary enough to fulfill your sweet tooth without breaking your calorie bank.
Want to make your green tea lemonade even healthier? Ask for it unsweetened, to reduce the calorie, sugar, and carb count.
Iced Skinny Mocha Latte
- Nutritional value: 120 Calories, 17 Carbs, 1.5 Fat, 9 Protein
Sometimes you can’t resist mixing up a little espresso and mocha in the mornings, we get it. There are ways to keep your chocolate-filled latte low-calorie and low-fat. Opt for skim milk and low-calorie sweetener and get your mocha latte “skinny” to save fat without sacrificing flavor.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Nutritional value: 370 Calories, 48 Carbs, 15 Fat, 11 Protein
Unfortunately for PSL lovers, the fall latte is one of the worst drinks for you that you can order at Starbucks. If you really can’t resist the pull of the PSL, there are ways you can make your latte healthier. Skip the whipped cream, substitute skim milk for 2% and ask for reduced-sugar syrup.