Monday, October 13, 2014

The Need to Know on Your Favorite Fall Drinks

As New York Magazine recently proclaimed, pumpkin is the new bacon. The newly ubiquitous flavoring is a popular option for the lineup of fall seasonal drinks at national coffeehouses like Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts and Tim Horton's.
But whether it's a pumpkin latte or a spiced apple cider, these festive drinks can hide fat, sugar and calories amidst the evocative, limited-time flavors. We've listed a few of the most common offenders, all size medium unless otherwise noted, with more sugar than candy bars and enough fat to make a serious dent in your daily allowance.
To combat calorie-laden drinks, the CDC recommends choosing the smallest size, replacing whole milk with skim where appropriate and forgoing the whipped cream. Unfortunately, they recommend skipping flavor syrups (how your pumpkin mocha latte is created) altogether.
Not ready to let go of fall's fab flavors? At least know what you're getting yourself into:

Starbucks' Grande Caramel 

Apple Spice with 

Whipped Cream

Calories: 360
Fat: 8 g
Saturated Fat: 4.5 g 
Cholesterol: 30 mg
Sugars: 68 g
Sodium: 0 mg

The deal:

This coffee-free drink is marketed to kids and while 4.5 grams of saturated fat is an already high 22 percent of the daily allowance for an adult who eats 2,000 calories per day, it's significantly more for a child. That fat comes from the whipped cream, but even if that were to come off, there would still be 65 grams of sugar in the drink -- that's the equivalent of more than a can of coke (39 grams), a package of Twinkies (37 grams) and two Snickers bars (60 grams).

Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte

Calories: 380
Fat: 13 g
Saturated Fat: 8 g 
Cholesterol: 50 mg
Sugars: 49 g
Sodium: 0 mg
Protein: 14 g
The deal:
We all know that 49 grams of sugar -- again, more than a can of coke (39 grams) or a package of Twinkies (37 grams) -- is not healthful. And research shows that consuming sugar in beverages can be even more harmful to health than sugar in solid form. What's more, the 8 grams of saturated fat comprises almost halfthe recommended daily value.

Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin 
Spice Latte With Skim Milk

Calories: 260
Fat: .5 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g 
Sugars: 51 g
Sodium: 0 mg
Protein: 12 g
The deal:
If this drink is ordered in its healthiest iteration -- skim milk, no sugar or sweetener -- it can be a decent choice in terms of calories, fat and saturated fat. But with 51 grams of sugar, it's still a diet buster. What's more, since there's an option to add sugar on top of what's provided behind the counter, it can seem like you're making a healthy choice by abstaining from the extra, even though you aren't.

Tim Horton's Small 

Apple Cider Supreme

Calories: 210
Fat: 4 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g 
Sugars: 57 g
Sodium: 15 mg
Protein: 0 g
The deal:While reasonable in calories and fat and saturated fat content, the 57 grams of sugar make this a bad choice.

Panera's Bread's 

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Calories: 340
Fat: 10g
Saturated Fat: 6 g 
Sugars: 46 g
Sodium: 115 mg
Protein: 7 g
The deal:
This drink has the same problems with sugar and fat as its counterparts at other chains, but it also has a surprising amount of salt -- in fact, at 115 milligrams, it accounts for 10 percent of a daily allowance.

Jamba Juice Pumpkin 
Smash Smothie

Calories: 390
Fat: 0 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Sugars: 75 g
Sodium: 320 mg
Protein: 10 g
The deal:
The lack of fat and saturated fat, coupled with a decent amount of protein, makes this smoothie attractive at first. But with 75 grams of sugar, it still packs a calorie-laden punch. An option to "make it light" reduces the calories to 260 and the sugar to 50 grams per 16-ounce cup.
Source: HuffPost Healthy Living: Fall Coffee Drinks: Which Is Best: Calories, Nutrition and More