A favorite fall treat at the Starbucks chain of coffee stores is the pumpkin spice latte. Released in late August, the drink features espresso, pumpkin, spices, steamed milk and sweetened whipped cream. The latte packs a lot of calories and sugar in a simple, comforting cup.
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The standard order for a pumpkin spice latte is a 16-oz. grande made with 2 percent milk and topped with whipped cream. This version contains 380 calories and 13 g of fat, 8 g of them saturated. Shrink to a 12 oz. drink and save 80 calories and 2 g of fat. Ordering the grande with non-fat milk makes a drink with 330 calories and 7 g of fat, 4.5 g of which are saturated. Soy milk is an option, but saves only 10 calories and 2 g of fat.
In the grande pumpkin spice latte there are 49 g of sugar, or to 12.25 tsp. Even if you order just a 12 oz. drink, you still get 38 g of sugar, or 9.5 tsp. Ordering non-fat milk does not significantly affect the sugar content. While some of the sugar is naturally occurring in the milk, these numbers far exceed the American Heart Association recommendations for women to take in just six added teaspoons of sugar daily and men just nine.
Read more: What's Wrong With Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte?
Skip the whipped cream on the latte and save 7 g of fat and 70 calories. If you leave the whipped cream off a grande, non-fat version of the drink, it shrinks to 260 calories with no fat calories. A tall non-fat version sans whipped cream equals 200 calories and no fat.
A grande, 2-percent milk pumpkin spice latte offers 14 g of protein, 220 mg of sodium and 50 mg of cholesterol. The drink does provide 50 percent of the daily recommended allowance for calcium and 15 percent of vitamin A. Each drink contains 150 mg of caffeine. Soy versions of the drink contains 45 percent of the daily value of calcium, 6 percent of the daily value of iron and 5 g of protein.
Read more: The Benefits of Pumpkin
Be aware of the high-calorie content in a venti-size drink. This 20 oz. version made with 2 percent milk contains 470 calories with 10 g of saturated fat and 15 g of fat overall. It contains 62 g of sugar, or about 248 calories worth. Any version of a pumpkin spice latte should be treated as an occasional indulgence rather than a morning staple because of the high sugar and calorie content.