The fall season is upon us, and with it comes the return of the pumpkin spice latte.
However, before you make this delicious drink your daily staple, you may want to consider whether or not it’s actually healthy for you.
This espresso is made with a pumpkin spice that contains cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves—the same spices used in pumpkin pies.
These spices are also well-regarded for their numerous health benefits.
For example, cinnamon is linked to improved blood sugar control and improved cholesterol. It also appears to have anti-cancer effects that can help reduce the growth and spread of tumor cells.
Nutmeg and cloves have antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects, which can potentially help reduce the risks associated with many chronic diseases.
And pumpkins themselves are also a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Unfortunately, many brands of pumpkin spice lattes don’t actually contain any real pumpkin.
So, does that mean the pumpkin spice latte is healthy for you?
What Else is in a Pumpkin Spice Latte?
In addition to the espresso and spices, a pumpkin spice latte also typically contains:
- whipped cream
- pumpkin syrup
- high-fructose corn syrup
- other added sugars
These ingredients are generally not recommended for regular consumption. A little bit every now and then probably won’t do much harm, but if you’re drinking multiple pumpkin spice lattes each week, it could start to add up.
The pumpkin spice lattes you get from coffee shops also tend to be very high in calories and added sugars, which can quickly contribute to weight gain and other health issues.
Make it at Home for a Healthier Option
Instead of buying a pumpkin spice latte from your local coffee franchise, you can make your own at home for a healthier (and cheaper) option.
This way, you can skip the unhealthy syrups, sugars, and high-calorie dairy and make something both tasty and nutritious. And since it won’t have nearly as many calories without them, you can enjoy your latte more frequently without any guilt.
This will also allow you to experiment with different types and amounts of spices and other ingredients to find a combination that you love even more than one you’d get made for you.
You don’t need to skip your favorite fall treat just because it’s not the healthiest option. With a few simple substitutions, you can make a delicious and nutritious pumpkin spice latte that you can enjoy all season long.