If you follow our Instagram, you know we gave Pumpkin Spice a hella-hard side-stare this week.
Honestly, the Insta post covers it pretty well, but it really comes down to this: the amount of unseen additives commonly found in fall’s favourite flavour of latte (and every-other-kinda-seasonal-treat), Pumpkin Spice.
On its own, Pumpkin Spice is a simple mix of fresh ground spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves). It’s a combination of spice that may be beneficial to your health and well-being.
For instance, cinnamon is often associated with decreased inflammation, while ginger is widely lauded for its efficacy in controlling certain types of nausea.
And those are health benefits none of us should ignore.
But grab a large-sized Pumpkin Spice Latte at your favourite coffee chain, and you could be drinking a lot more than the tastiest taste of fall—you could be consuming unwanted, unseen additives.
Common Pumpkin Spice latte additives include sugar, carageenan, sulfating agents, potassium sorbate, and annatto (a natural food colouring); all of these additives are approved for food service, but have also been implicated as possible contributors to poor health in some people.
And, a typical large-sized Pumpkin Spice latte made with 2% milk can contain nearly 20% of the recommended calories in a 2000-calorie-a-day diet.
You’ll also consume 40% of the recommended daily intake of saturated fat, 10% of your sodium intake, and about 19% of your total carbohydrates—nearly all of it from roughly 50 grams of hidden sugar.
What's a Pumpkin Spice latte-lover to do?
Clearly, no one wants to give up on the fall flavour we’ve waited for all year (and what a year). So let’s just enjoy our Pumpkin Spice with some added insight that helps us all make the best choices for our health and well-being.
But when you want your favourite fall flavour and you also want to reduce your additive intake, try these simple Pumpkin Spice latte hacks.
Ask for no whip on top: The most luxurious Pumpkin Spice lattes come with whip. Say no to the whipped cream and you’ll save yourself from consuming around 100 empty calories, up to 10 mg of sodium, and about 40 mg of cholesterol.
Ask for less flavour syrup: Each pump of flavour syrup contains around 5 grams of sugar. And a large-sized Pumpkin Spice latte can have 4 or more syrup pumps.
Ask for the smallest size: Sometimes we order the usual without even thinking, but if we switch to small-sized lattes, we easily save ourselves from just about half of the calories, fat and additives.
Don’t ask— just enjoy yourself: With or without the hacks, you deserve a break. Sometimes that’ll mean enjoying treats exactly as they are, just for the joy of it.
Other times, it means deploying simple hacks like these to let you enjoy the treats you love, without all of the worrisome additive intake.
No matter where you are on your nutritional journey today, enjoy the moment and savour your experience! Seriously, you deserve it.