The Ugly Truth About Starbucks Pumpkin Lattes


It is that time of year again: the leaves are changing, the weather is getting cooler and Starbucks once more has rolled out a seasonal favorite: the Pumpkin Latte. This particular latte has been extremely popular over the years and is part of several other pumpkin-flavored treats that the company puts out in the autumn. Before rolling into the drive-through and ordering yours, however, you might want to take a look at what is – and is not – in this drink.


Okay, that should be obvious. What many people do not realize, though, is that for a grande Pumpkin Latte, you are going to be taking in 49 grams of sugar just for that one beverage. That’s more than a can of Coke, which clocks in at 39 grams. Definitely not a drink that you want if you are on a low-carb diet!


Many people don’t even think about the sodium content for a sweet beverage, but this latte contains 240 mg of it for a single drink. That is definitely on the high side in regards to beverages.


Even if you order soy milk or other milk substitute in your latte, it already contains sweetened condensed nonfat milk, so you will be getting some dairy in your drink whether you want it or not. This is important to keep in mind if you are lactose intolerant or have some other dairy allergy. The milk that Starbucks uses is 2% unless you request another option, but that milk came from cows given antibiotics and likely GMO feed as well.

Annatto E160B

While derived from natural sources, this coloring has been proven to cause adverse reactions that can affect your skin, digestive system, airways and nervous system. There have even been reports of anaphylaxis, a severe and even life-threatening allergic reaction, in response to this additive.

Caramel Color E150D

This artificial coloring contains a compound called 4-methlyimidazole that is a suspected carcinogen. What is more, this colorant is completely unnecessary as it dyes a coffee-based beverage brown when it was already brown to begin with.


In addition to cinnamon, cloves and ginger, the Pumpkin Spice Topping on the latte contains sulfites. These have long been banned in many foods due to their ability to provoke severe allergic reactions, especially for those who suffer from asthma. For some it can even be fatal and yet this ingredient is not clearly labelled so that consumers can be aware of it before making the purchase.

So as good as this latte might taste, it might be healthier to give it a miss. There are a lot of healthy, DIY pumpkin latte recipes available on Net that you can make at home and that do not have so many potentially toxic ingredients.

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Christine . S
Christine has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.