Weight Loss

If You’re Trying to Cut Down on Sugar, Follow This Dietitian’s Hack For Ordering at Starbucks

If you think when the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte rolls out is the most wonderful time of the year, we feel you! There’s something about cupping your hands around that hot, steamy, Autumn-spiced goodness. A 16-ounce Grande PSL made with two-percent milk and topped with whipped cream will run you 380 calories, but registered dietitian and yoga teacher Emily Cornelius warned that it’s the sugar amount you also need to be mindful of.

That 16-ounce Pumpkin Spice Latte has 50 grams of sugar! Even if you order yours with almond milk and no whipped cream, your 230-calorie drink still has 38 grams of the sweet stuff. “That’s equal to eating eight Chips Ahoy Cookies!” Emily said. Just so we’re on the same page, the American Heart Association recommended no more than six teaspoons (25 grams) of added sugar a day for women and nine teaspoons (36 grams) for men.

What gives Starbucks drinks their characteristically sweet and delicious flavor? Pumps of flavored syrup. Emily said that a Venti (20 ounces) has five pumps, a Grande (16 ounces) has four pumps, and a Tall (12 ounces) has three pumps. One pump of syrup adds around 30 calories and 7.5 grams of sugar, so if you want to cut back on the sugar in your Pumpkin Spice Latte, or any other Starbucks drink for that matter, Emily said, “ask for half the pumps.”

Aside from saving you on sugar, “another bonus is that it’ll save you an additional 60 calories,” Emily added, which brings the Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte with almond milk, no whip cream, and just two pumps of vanilla syrup down to 170 calories with 23 grams of sugar.

If your latte isn’t sweet enough, Emily recommended adding one to two packets of stevia to increase the sweetness without adding grams of sugar or calories. Or, if you’re really trying to cut down on the sugar, you can make this low-carb Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe at home.

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