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Pumpkin Spice Lattes

In Florida, you can’t tell that it’s fall by watching the local weather report.  Instead, you know that it’s fall based on the amount of pumpkin-flavored products found at coffee shops, bakeries, and the grocery stores.  By now, you have probably seen pumpkin-flavored…everything:  pumpkin donuts, ice cream, cookies, muffins, and of course, pumpkin spice lattes.  And while pumpkin is healthy (high in vitamin A, potassium, and fiber), pumpkin flavoring is not.  A 16 ounce pumpkin spice latte has about 50 grams of sugar (most of it added, only a small amount is found naturally in the milk), which is more than what men and women need in an entire day.  There is more pumpkin flavored syrup than there is pumpkin.

With 380 calories, 14 grams of fat and all of that sugar, it might as well be a dessert.  So treat it as such.  With all of those empty calories, it’s best not to indulge on any other sweets for the day.  This is why people say it is hard to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight during the holidays; there is temptation all around us, and marketing efforts have led us to believe that something seasonal or limited in time is worth enjoying.  And it is—just consider it treat to have once or twice for the entire season, and not something to have every week during the fall.

Can it be made “healthier”?  Well, ordering a small will cut out some of the calories, and consider holding off on the whipped cream.  You can also ask for just one pump of the pumpkin spice syrup, which will still give the latte plenty of pumpkin flavorings.   This goes for all coffee drinks year-round of course, not just the pumpkin spice latte.  Any flavored coffee drink is going to be pretty bad as far as sugar, fat, and calories.

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