Pumpkin Spice Lattes Have a Whopping 50g of Sugar! Here Are 5 Healthy Alternatives
October 11, 2023
As the leaves change colors and the air turns crisp, it’s that time of year again – pumpkin spice season. For many, this marks the return of the beloved pumpkin spice latte (PSL) from their favorite coffee shop. However, before you indulge in this seasonal delight, you might want to rethink your PSL habit due to the exorbitant amount of sugar in each drink.
While pumpkin spice lattes are undeniably delicious, they often have a hidden health cost – sugar overload. A typical PSL can contain a staggering amount of sugar. Some popular coffee chains serve PSLs with up to 50 grams of sugar per serving, more than double the recommended daily intake of added sugars for adults. Consuming excessive sugar can lead to many health problems, including weight gain, hormone imbalance, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
If you’re looking to enjoy the flavors of autumn without the sugar rush, there are healthier alternatives to traditional PSLs that you can make at home or find at select cafes. Here are a few options to consider:
1. Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte: Making your own PSL allows you to control the ingredients and sugar content. Start with unsweetened pumpkin puree, a dash of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, and a refined sugar substitute like stevia or maple syrup. Combine these with your choice of milk, brewed coffee, or espresso for a delightful and customizable homemade PSL.
2. Spiced Chai Latte: A spiced chai latte can be a fantastic alternative. It combines the warmth of spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger with black tea and milk. You can choose unsweetened milk and add a modest sweetener to suit your taste.
3. Black Coffee with a Pumpkin Twist: If you enjoy the taste of pumpkin but want to skip the sugar, consider adding a small amount of pumpkin spice seasoning or a dash of pumpkin extract to your regular black coffee. This way, you can enjoy the seasonal flavor without the excess sugar.
4. Tea-Based Pumpkin Spice Drinks: Herbal teas like rooibos or chamomile can serve as a caffeine-free base for pumpkin spice concoctions. Steep the tea with a touch of pumpkin spice, add some unsweetened milk, and sweeten to your liking with a healthier alternative like honey or agave syrup.
5. Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte: For those who prefer cold beverages, you can create an iced pumpkin spice latte using chilled coffee or espresso, unsweetened milk, and homemade pumpkin spice syrup with controlled sugar levels.
While the allure of pumpkin spice lattes during the fall season is undeniable, it’s essential to be mindful of the excessive sugar they often contain. Overindulging in sugary beverages can have detrimental effects on your health.
Instead, consider healthier alternatives that allow you to savor autumn flavors without compromising your well-being. Whether you opt for homemade creations or explore the menu at coffee shops for lower-sugar options, you can still enjoy the spirit of pumpkin spice season in a more balanced and nutritious way. By making these informed choices, you can savor the season while caring for your health.
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