Between the pumpkin-spice-flavored kale chips, vodka, candy corn, yogurt, beer, cream cheese, English muffins, Kahlúa, macarons, and the almonds, cookies, cereal, sausage, Twinkies, popcorn, Peeps, and water — it’s safe to say that America has aslight obsession with all things pumpkin spice.
The seasonal craze started with one item 13 years ago: Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte. It has without a doubt been the company’s most successful seasonal beverage. One could argue that summer hasn’t ended until the annual release of the PSL.
Other companies were rightfully envious of Starbucks’ success and created their own versions of the fall favorite. Now customers can buy a pumpkin spice latte at almost any fast-food chain that sells coffee.
Though the PSL craze seems innocuous, the drink is in actuality a nutritional nightmare. Sipping on one every morning of the fall season can throw a diet completely off course. All the pumpkin spice lattes on this list are high in fat and calories, and contain more sugar than a can of Coca-Cola. The nutritional information provided below is reflective of a 16-fluid-ounce serving that uses either 2-percent milk or whole milk.
Here’s our ranking of the top 8 unhealthiest pumpkin spice lattes.
#8 Peet’s Coffee & Tea: Pumpkin Latte With 2 Percent Milk
8 grams of total fat
43 grams of sugar
Peet’s is the healthiest of the unhealthiest pumpkin spice lattes. The drink is sweet, but it doesn’t crush you with sugar, calories, or fat. It uses real espresso, steamed milk, and pumpkin spices. Ordering it with skim milk eliminates the fat and reduces the calories by a quarter.
#7 Starbucks: Pumpkin Spice Latte With 2-Percent Milk and Whipped Cream
14 grams of total fat
50 grams of sugar
Starbucks is the originator of the PSL movement, and now its pumpkin spice lattes actually contain real pumpkin. Unfortunately, the addition of real pumpkin doesn’t reduce the sugar or calorie content, but loyal fans will be relieved to know that it is far from the worst offender.
#6 McDonald’s: McCafé Pumpkin Spice Latte With Whole Milk
10 grams of fat
48 grams of sugar
The pumpkin spice latte from McDonald’s is rich in added sugar at 48 grams, but the drink also contains sucralose, an artificial sweetener, and xanthan gum, the same stuff used to give toothpaste its signature thick and slimy consistency. This one’s a little too artificial for my taste.
#5 Panera Bread: Pumpkin Spice Latte
12 grams of fat
51 grams of sugar
Panera Bread’s pumpkin spice latte uses reduced-fat milk, but this substitution becomes irrelevant when it’s topped off with whipped cream. Its “pumpkin spice flavored syrup” uses 12 different ingredients including glycerin, corn syrup, and three other types of sugar.