For those who have health goals they're trying to achieve, the fall season can be quite intimidating. Once September hits, you're pretty much looking at the rest of the year full of holidays and celebrations, which means tons of festive foods and drinks. And just because you have healthy eating goals doesn't mean you have to be afraid of these foods or try to avoid them. In fact, there are plenty of ways you can enjoy your favorite holiday treats in a healthy way, including the highly-anticipated pumpkin spice latte!
Sometimes finding the healthiest PSL options can be overwhelming, especially because most coffee shops and fast food joints have them now.
But according to our medical expert board Laura Burak, MS, RD, author of Slimdown with Smoothies, and founder of Laura Burak Nutrition, the healthiest pumpkin spice latte you can order is a Starbucks PSL with just one to two pumps of syrup and skim milk.
"The secret to enjoying a seasonal coffee shop drink like a pumpkin spice latte while also staying in your healthy habit lane simply comes down to how you place the order," says Burak, "and the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks is one of the healthier choices at a coffee chain, as long as you adjust the pumps of sugary syrup and the toppings to save excess calories and sugar."
These small changes really do make a huge difference in keeping your health goals, and you can make adjustments that fit your own personal style so you aren't sacrificing any of your favorite aspects of the PSL.
"Ideally, ask for one to two pumps of pumpkin syrup instead of four, skim milk instead of whole, and compromise on the toppings according to your preferences," says Burak, "such as skipping the whipped cream but still enjoying a "light" order of the powdered funnel cake topping and sprinkles."
Other healthy adjustments for the Pumpkin Spice Latte
The best adjustments to make really depend on your health goals. The PSL from Starbucks with half the pumps and skim milk is a healthy choice across the board, but you can adjust it even further if you'd like.
For example, if you absolutely love the whipped cream, you might keep that but order a tall instead of a grande. And if you don't love skim milk but would rather not have the full fat option, you can order 2% to meet in the middle. You can even make some adjustments to what Burak considers the worst pumpkin spice option.
There are tons of different combinations of a PSL that you can try, and this means "you can have your latte and drink it too, healthfully," says Burak.
For healthier ways of making pumpkin spice coffee at home, you can check out our list of healthy and not-so-healthy pumpkin spice creamers on grocery store shelves.
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