Fall officially begins tomorrow but one of the surest signs of the season popped up weeks ago. The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is back for its 13th year and it now has more copycat competitors than ever.
But a taste of autumn comes with a price…and it may be at the expense of your waistband. So before you guzzle down a ‘grande’ keep in mind these cautions from dietitian, Jodi Robinson, “the red flags to look out for are the sugar, the type of milk that’s in the beverage, so if it’s whole milk versus say 2% or non-fat, and whipped cream. So these things can really add a lot of calories to a beverage.”
A grande Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks contains 12 teaspoons worth of sugar. That’s twice the recommended daily amount. It also packs 380 calories and 14 grams of fat. A medium Pumpkin Pie Iced Capp from Tim Hortons will cost you 470 calories, 21 grams of fat and 58 grams of sugar. Then there are the desserts. A Starbucks Pumpkin Scone will eat up 450 of your daily calories and a Pumpkin Spice Muffin from timmies is close behind at 430 calories.
Robinson says the real concern comes when people don’t choose between a beverage and a baked good, “you get the drink, you get the snack, you’re looking at the calorie load of an entire meal or more. and really, for most people, it would be a snack in between meals.” Two pumpkin spice items can equal almost as much as a McDonald’s Big Mac and fries.
To lighten things up and still get your pumpkin spice fix, Robinson recommends cutting back on higher fat ingredients. Ask for non-fat milk and skip the whipped cream. In addition to getting a ‘half sweet’ beverage with fewer pumps of syrup, those choices can reduce your PSL calorie count by more than a third.