Fall or ‘Pumpkin Spice Latte Season’ as others like to call it – has officially arrived. Although pumpkin itself is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber, the drinks we order at our favorite coffee shops contain very little, if any, real pumpkin. While everything pumpkin may sound appealing, not all of them are healthy.  Whether you prefer Starbucks or Dunkin’, it’s important to take a look at the nutrition information. Let’s look at the Starbucks Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte with whole milk compared to a medium Pumpkin Swirl Latte with whole milk from Dunkin’

As you can see, both beverages are high in calories and have a very large amount of sugar. Remember that calories are calories, whether they come from food or drinks. Calories from foods leave you feeling fuller, longer and give you important nutrients that you don’t always get from high calorie drinks.  

Here a few ways to save calories when ordering a PSL:

  • Ask for only 1 pump of the pumpkin syrup — this will slash the sugar
  • Order a smaller size 
  • Order your favorite coffee with 1 or 2 pumps of pumpkin syrup and a splash of your favorite milk

Keep in mind that the sugar content in these beverages is coming from the pumpkin spice syrup so whichever way you order them, the sugar content is going to be high.

If you’re not a coffee  drinker and you’re opting for the frozen chocolate pumpkin swirl drink at Dunkin’ – think again! Even a small has 500 calories and 87 grams of sugar.  

Make Your Own PSLs to Save Even More

Making your own pumpkin spice lattes doesn’t require a lot of time and can also save on calories and money. By using ingredients you may already have, with a few extras, it’s easy to enjoy the same great flavor.

Keurig with pumpkin spice k-cups

If you have a Keurig you can purchase pumpkin spice k-cups from Starbucks, Dunkin, or Green Mountain and add milk/cream, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.  

Coffee with pumpkin spice creame

Another option is to make your own coffee and then add Coffee Mate or International Delight Sugar Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer. 

Espresso machine with pumpkin spice syrup

If you own an espresso machine you can make your own espresso and steamed milk for a latte. Add in a sugar free pumpkin spice syrup , like Torani, to make it a Pumpkin Spice latte with no added sugar. 

Whether you’ve just had surgery, are preparing for surgery or just trying to be healthier, it’s important to read the nutrition facts to help you make better choices. Both Starbucks and Dunkin’ have a customization feature on their websites where you can see the nutrition facts of the drinks you order. It’s a good idea to check these before you go to see what’s really in your drinks and to find new and healthier ways to enjoy your favorites. Remember that there are no forbidden foods/drinks, it’s about moderation. So enjoy some pumpkin spice during the Fall season!  

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    By: New Jersey Bariatric Center Staff

    New Jersey Bariatric Center®, a medical & surgical weight loss center with offices in Springfield, Somerset, Hoboken, East Brunswick, Hackettstown and Sparta, New Jersey, helps patients achieve long-term weight loss success through the most advanced bariatric surgery procedures, including gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, gastric band and gastric balloon procedures. Led by the team of Drs. Ajay Goyal, Angela Jack Glasnapp, James Buwen and Tina Thomas, New Jersey Bariatric Center®’s approach to patient care has resulted in zero mortalities and a complication rate that is lower than the national average.

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