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The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

The Student News Site of Central Oregon Community College

The Broadside

Sugar and spice are not always so nice

Photo by Roman Russell

How much sugar and calories are really in those must-haves fall drinks

Kate Couch/The Broadside

One of the most enjoyable moments of fall is the specialty fall drinks, like the pumpkin spice latte, hot apple cider or caramel pumpkin brûlée. If it’s edible, companies are going to infuse pumpkin spice into it—seriously by just walking down the aisles of a grocery store in October its easy to everything is pumpkin spice flavored. This is just the kickoff to the sweater season-which is really to hide the extra 15 pounds everyone put on during this chilly season. These specialty fall drinks are packed with loads of sugar, fat, and calories.

However, ignorance is bliss so if you prefer to sip in peace click off now!

Gathered below is health information on three popular fall treats.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte

Its ionic, smooth, heavy on the caffeine, and tastes like fall, but this popular fall drink also has 50 grams of sugar. According to Starbucks, a grande Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL has 50 grams of sugar. For comparison, 50 grams of sugar is the same as a one-quarter cup of sugar, or, according to Business Insider, equal to five bowls of Frosted Flakes—in one drink!

The National Heart Health Organization recommends men have no more than 36 grams of sugar a day and for women, no more than 25 grams per day. While the suggestions may differ, the bottom line is that no more than 50 grams of sugar in a day is recommended. This means someone should be eating plain salad and meat for the rest of the day if they chose to down a PSL before work. On top of all the sugar in this drink, it also has 52 grams of carbs and 380 calories. To say this is unhealthy is an understatement.

To keep this Fall favorite off the hips try ordering it like this instead.

Iced PSL:

  • Grande Iced Coffee
  • No Classic Syrup
  • 1 pump of pumpkin sauce
  • 3 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup
  • EXTRA pumpkin spice topping
  • Light cream (half n half)

This is only 90 calories.

The Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew:

Newer to the Starbucks classics line up, the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew has been a hit this year as it’s all over social media. The Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew seems like it would be on the healthier side, but it’s just as bad as a PSL. In a 16 oz grande size there are 250 calories. This is better than the PSL but still, a lot for a drink considering the National Health Organization recommends an average of 2,000 calories per day for men and women. Considering the average meal is between 500-700 calories according to Global News -that’s half a meal! In addition to the calories, it has 31 grams of sugar and 31 grams of carbs. Overall, it’s a healthier drink compared to the rest—but that’s like being the tallest dwarf.

For a healthier version of a pumpkin cold brew, try ordering this at Starbucks:

Grande Cold Foam Cold Brew:

  • One pump pumpkin sauce in the cold foam
  • 3 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup in the cold brew

*optional ask for a splash of cream or any type of milk

This is only 75 calories.

The Carmel Pumpkin Brulée:

Dutch Bros is known for a dash of coffee with their sugar and cream, but their fall drinks really take the cake. In their medium Carmel Pumpkin Brulée, there is 630 calories, 50 grams of carbs and 41 grams of sugar, making it the unhealthiest fall drink listed.

It is recommended to stay far away from these heart attacks in a cup, but also considering options for a healthier switch. This can be done by making healthy versions at home or ordering a little differently.

Things like almond milk, fewer pumps of flavor and sugar sweeteners will slash carbs, calorie, and sugar count in half.

To save money and be environmentally healthy, picking up a reusable cup like this one here and make those festive drinks at home will also help in the long run.

Here are some recipes that will save you money and keep you healthy all fall long:

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Homemade Apple Cider

Homemade Caramel Apple Butter Iced Coffee

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