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Orange and remarkably omnipresent, pumpkin spice is a hallmark of fall. And in fact, once September hits, pumpkin spice flavored products appear everywhere. There are pumpkin spice yogurts, pumpkin spice English muffins, pumpkin spice pringles, pumpkin spice chicken sausages, and of course, pumpkin spice lattes.

Pumpkin spice latte season is something people count down to months before the drink is available.

But the drink costs you more than just dollars — one 16-fluid ounce (Grande) pumpkin spice latte costs:

  • Around $5.00
  • 380 calories
  • 50 grams of sugar
  • 14 grams of fat
  • 240 mg of salt

Ingredients wise, a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks includes milk, pumpkin spice sauce, espresso, whipped cream, and syrup. The amount of sugar, fat, and salt in the latte is actually worth a significant amount of the sugar, fat, and salt you need daily. That morning cup of pumpkin spice latte fills 40 percent of your daily fat requirement and 10 percent of your daily sodium requirement. Going by the standards set by the American Heart Association (24 grams of sugar a day), one Grande pumpkin spice latte has more than twice the recommended daily amount of sugar. The high levels of sugar, salt, and fat also cause the release of chemicals in the brain that mimic addiction. 

During the fall season, pumpkin spice lattes become very popular; however, the levels of sugar, salt, and fat are something to watch out for.

Image Source: Jamie Grill

An alternative to the fat, sugar, and salt in pumpkin spice lattes might be making your own — a task that is actually much easier than it sounds. For example, one recipe calls for pumpkin, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and espresso. Drinking a smaller amount of pumpkin spice latte (watching portions) could also help significantly. Swapping out the artificial pumpkin spice flavors for real pumpkin is another alternative. One cup of pumpkin is 30 calories of nutrients like vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, fiber. Ultimately, any of these alternatives is healthier for both you and your wallet.

Feature Image Source: 339: Pumpkin Spice Love by Denise Mattox

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