Is it me or did fall arrive early this year? With the drop of the highly anticipated “pumpkin spice latte” at Starbucks, it seemed all of social media had instantly turned from flip-flops and white jeans to hoodies and coffee cups. Lots and lots of coffee cups. I am of the camp that people should enjoy whatever simple thing in life they want, for as long as they want, if it is harmless. Fall is a gorgeous time of year and I, too, love the scents and flavors it brings with it. While a holiday spiced latte, once in a while, is something I believe you can enjoy, I do think it is important to be aware of the caloric cost of this drink.
If you were to go into Starbucks (or probably any coffee shop that has an imitation) and just order the grande (medium) drink as it comes, it would have 420 calories, 18 grams of fat, and 50 grams of sugar. This does include the whipped cream. For reference, 420 calories is a light meal for most people. And, 50 grams of sugar is exactly twice the amount that is recommended for women to take in in a day! You can decrease calories and fat by subbing out the whole milk for nonfat or a plant-based milk, but removing the whipped cream does almost nothing to the sugar content. The only way to impact the sugar content is to ask them to decrease the amount of flavored syrup in the drink, and that is going to take away from the pumpkin-y goodness. By contrast, a nonfat grande latte has only 18 grams of sugar (from the naturally occurring sugar in the milk), so you are taking in roughly 8 teaspoons of sugar to have the flavor. This definitely makes the drink something to have once in a while, versus all winter long.
You can make one at home, for a lot less money and sugar! Here are some easy recipes to get you started, that don’t involve a fancy coffee maker or milk frother.
Enjoy the start of this joyous time of year! Try to take a few moments, soak up the flavors and the scents, and slow down.
In Health, Angela