pumpkin spice, added sugars, sugar, weight loss, calories, pumpkin spice latteIt’s officially fall, but that doesn’t mean you have to join the pumpkin spice frenzy.

From the famed pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks to the pumpkin spice cheesecake on every dessert menu, chances are you may be tempted to indulge. After all, it is fall, right?

Guess again.

Not only do many of these sweet creations have little to no pumpkin in them, they’re also loaded with copious amounts of sugar. Enough sugar to last a few days, to be honest. If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, these specialty coffee drinks don’t do us any favors.

Take the pumpkin spice latte with whipped cream at Starbucks. This seasonal beverage boasts 50 grams of sugar, 14 grams of fat and 380 calories in the grande size using 2 percent milk. You might do better by having a piece of homemade pumpkin pie for breakfast. One slice – about one-eighth of a 9-inch pie – has roughly 300 calories, the same amount of fat and “only” 21 grams of sugar.

For reference, the average woman should consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day, while men can have up to 37 grams, according to the American Heart Association.

If you consult federal eating guidelines, Americans should keep their intake of added sugars to less than 10 percent of their total daily calories as part of a healthy diet. For example, in a 1,500 daily calorie diet, no more than 150 calories should come from added sugars. Just under 39 grams of sugar equates to 150 calories.

To be sure, it’s not the pumpkin to blame. Canned pumpkin, the kind you might use to make a pie, doesn’t contain much sugar at all, unless it’s added.

If you’re trying to lose weight, it’s best to avoid sugary lattes in the first place. Even a plain, 2-percent milk grande latte contains 18 grams of sugar, 7 grams of fat and 190 calories.

Here’s a sweet tip that always works when ordering coffee: drink it black. There are no added sugars in a plain cup of coffee.

+ Do you need help making better food choices? Learn from the Registered Dietitians at Bon Secours Weight Loss Institute how to choose foods that will give you energy and improve your health. Knowing how to prepare meals and make healthy food choices is a key part of successful weight loss.

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