By Delta Dental on Monday, October 7, 2019

Your favorite fall drink is probably filled with sugar

Fall is upon us and, with it, pumpkin-flavored beverages have returned to coffee shops. While your favorite seasonal drink may smell and taste just like fall — it’s probably loaded with sugar. Sugary drinks may taste great, but “drinking large amounts of sugar can lead to serious health problems” including an increased risk of heart disease, obesity and tooth decay.

ghost latte

Drinks like these are supposed to be sweet, so naturally there are lots of syrups added to the drink to give it that perfect taste. Plus, if you add on the whipped cream or other toppings, you are adding additional sugar and fat.  Calories in drinks are especially tricky because they are often "empty calories" which means they do not make us feel as full when we consume them.

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For example, a medium size of Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte with whipped cream has 50 grams of sugar and 380 calories. The medium Caramel Craze Latte from Dunkin Donuts is even more sugary and calorie filled with 57 grams of sugar and 410 calories. The daily maximum amount of calories of added sugar for women is 100, as recommended by the American Heart Association. 

Caffeinated drinks are not the only culprits of surprisingly high sugars: Coffee-free drinks like mint hot chocolate and apple cider also contain lots of sugar. A medium Mint Hot Chocolate from Dunkin Donuts is 300 calories and 42 grams of sugar and a medium Caramel Apple Spice from Starbucks is 380 calories and has 71 grams of sugar.

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These drinks, filled with sugar and calories, are disguised in the seasonal marketing tactics of the companies trying to sell them. Resist the urge to get your taste of fall from your favorite coffee shop this year, or opt for healthier options by asking for sugar-free syrup or skim milk in your fall-flavored treat.