Pumpkin Spice Not So Nice

Don’t get tricked into these treats

Pumpkin Spice season is upon us, which has many feeling the warm and fuzzies. Since Starbucks successfully created the Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2003, it has become the unofficial flavor of autumn. Although I’m more of an apple cinnamon girl myself, I’m still a sucker for the occasional orange themed treat, particularly because mass consumerism has marketed the flavor in everything from drinks to doggy dental treats (yes, if your pup is craving some spice Greenies offers up just the thing). But what’s really in them?

Let’s start with the sip that started it all. A Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has 380 calories in a Grande (16 oz) with 14 g of fat, 240 mg of sodium, 52 g carbs, 50 g sugar, and 14 g protein. To put this in perspective, the American Heart Association recommends the maximum amount of added sugars in a day are 37.5 g for men and 25 g for women.

If you’re a do it yourself type, brewing coffee directly at home but using that flavored creamer, you may want to think again. Nestle Coffee-Mate Pumpkin Spice Liquor Coffee Creamer, and International Delight, have 35 calories and 5 g sugar in a single tablespoon. In moderation, that’s a sweet option, but don’t get stuck with a heavy pour.

Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Donut has 340 calories, 19 g fat, 380 mg sodium 39 g carbs, 19 g sugar and 3 g protein. In a single donut. How many of us honestly stop at one? Pepperidge Farm Milano Pumpkin Spice Cookies have a serving size of two cookies (25 g) which includes 130 calories, 7 g fat, 40 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 10 g sugar and 1 g protein. Not much of a comparison, Pumpkin Spice Oreos of two cookies (29 g) has 150 calories, 7 g fat, 80 mg sodium, 20 g carbs, 12 g sugar and 0.5 g of protein.

Terra Chips, considered a fairly healthy snacking choice, deceives when looking at nutritional facts for its Pumpkin Spice Sweets chips. Only 17 chips (28 g) have 150 calories, 9 g of fat, 15 mg of sodium, 16 g carbs, 4 g sugar and 1 g protein. Although, compared to the rest, it’s still on the better end of the scale.

Now, what you should try. Tazo Chai Pumpkin Spice tea is simply black tea, classic chai, and pumpkin spices — but at least with this you can add in your own sugars and creamer. Halo Top Pumpkin Pie ice cream has 360 calories per pint, 8 g fat, 340 g sodium, 17 g carbs, 28 g sugar, and 20 g of protein. RXBAR Pumpkin Spice is 52 g with 210 calories, 8 g fat, 105 mg sodium, 24 g carbs, 14 g sugar, and 12 g of protein. Cheerios Pumpkin Spice flavor cereal has 28 g worth of 110 calories, 2 g of fat, 120 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 8 g of sugar, and 2 g of protein. Siggi’s skyr pumpkin and spice two percent yogurt has 150 g per container for 140 calories, 3 g of fat, 60 g of sodium, 14 g carbs, 11 g of sugar, and 15 g of protein.

The next time you’re in line at the grocery store or local perk me up, think twice before you decide to spice up your life. Better yet, opt for good ol’ fashioned pumpkin picking on the East End and make the real deal yourself!

nicole@indyeastend.com