Pumpkin spice is certainly nice…but the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte is actually just filled with artificial goo, and isn’t healthy for you at all (even though a pumpkin is a healthy squash)!
In case you did still think that any processed products like the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte had real pumpkin in them, or had any real health benefits, let me “spill the tea” (well, coffee!):
The first red (orange?) flag here is that Starbucks was very weird about providing the ingredients list of all their drinks, until fairly recently.
Vani Hari, who runs the blog “Food Babe,” has a sort of “expose” on this from 2015. She kept trying to reach out to Starbucks to get the ingredients list for the pumpkin spice latte, and they answered her back, “The pumpkin spice latte is of pumpkin and traditional fall spice flavors combined with espresso and steamed milk.”
…”Traditional fall spice flavors,” huh? That doesn’t sound very convincing or specific, does it?
So this blogger actually had a contact at Starbucks who gave her the secret truth, which was that the condensed milk contains high-fructose corn syrup.”
After she published the article, Starbucks was shamed into getting rid of the HFCS and some other unsavory ingredients, and also to be better about releasing ingredient lists in the first place!!
But if you look at the current list, you’ll see that, yes, there is no HFCS listed, and it simply says “condensed milk.” However, Starbucks isn’t obligated to share everything their outside supplier’s condensed milk contains…
So we’ll just have to hope that the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte ingredients list is honest, and doesn’t contain any “lies by omission”!
And also, in case you need a refresher on why HFCS is so bad:
It causes not only diabetes by spiking insulin, but also cancer and heart problems. In fact, HFCS is actually restricted in Europe!
The reason it’s worse than other sugars is because only your liver can metabolize fructose, and so if you ingest too much fructose, it gets turned into fat. This causes fatty liver disease, or other diseases linked to insulin insensitivity!
The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte also used to contain “Caramel Color Level IV,” which is food coloring made with ammonia.
But you’re more concerned with how healthy the PSL is TODAY, obviously!
It still contains preservatives, sulfites, and suffice to say, has no real pumpkin to speak of besides the very recent addition of just a little tiny bit of pumpkin puree!
I think it’s great that companies like Starbucks are finally getting a little more transparent with the ingredients list than they were a few short years ago.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t diet, so I won’t NEVER have a PSL from Starbucks. But I have a little secret…if you’re at all obsessed with pumpkin spice, sometimes there’s always a healthier alternative.
So I have one more question for you…on a scale of 1 to 10, how much do YOU love pumpkin spice everything? Make sure to comment and tell me!