Healthy Living: Pumpkin coffee drinks and your health


Pumpkin spice lattes and coffees are very popular this time of year, but indulging too often can impact your health.

Looking at the nutrition labels online, a 14-ounce pumpkin spice latte at Dunkin’ and a 16-ounce at Starbucks show the drinks can be high in calories and sugar.

According to the American Heart Association, the daily recommendation of added sugar per day is 36 grams for men. For women, that number is just 25 grams per day.

Ariana Cucuzza, a dietitian with the Cleveland Clinic, says you can do a few things to make your order healthier.

“One would be to choose a dairy alternative. Usually, they’re lower in calories; something like unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk, something like that.”

Cucuzza also says if you’re going to indulge, pair your coffee with protein.

“Make a good choice to have with that maybe a couple of hard-boiled eggs,” she said.

While Cucuzza says it is okay to have a pumpkin spice latte on occasion, she cautions to not make it part of your morning routine.

To enjoy the pumpkin flavor in a healthier way, consider going off the menu with a custom order.

Instead of a latte, try a medium hot coffee at Dunkin’ with almond milk and pumpkin spice syrup. That drink will be under 200 calories, 40 grams of carbohydrates and 40 grams of sugar.

Size down to save.

Ordering a small or tall version of the drink can save almost 100 calories per cup and skipping the whipped cream can save another 70 calories.

Save on syrup.

At Starbucks, the pumpkin spice syrup adds around 30 calories and 7.5 grams of sugar per pump with the standard latte getting four pumps of syrup. Ask the barista to cut that in half, asking for two pumps instead.

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