Slimming down your coffee

HealthBeat

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Pumpkin spice lattes are back for the season and that may have many running to the coffee shop to get the specialty beverage.

But dietitians say while these specialty drinks may be great for your taste buds, they may have opposite effects on your health.

Starting the day off with a favorite cup of coffee is a must for some. Without it, Julie Draewell says she’s just not the same.

“Terrible, terrible! And my poor family suffers for it, so they take me,” Draewell said.

Unfortunately, she says her favorite drink isn’t the healthiest item on the menu– though she does swap out whole milk for skim.

“I get two drinks, I get a caramel vanilla latte iced, six caramel, six vanilla, four shots,” Julie Draewell said.

Specialty coffee drinks like the fall favorite, pumpkin spice latte, can have a lot of calories, sugar and fat. A grande PSL, or medium, tops off at 380 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 50 grams of sugar.

“It’s about 13 sugar cubes. So, when you see it visually you can kind of see how much that actually is,” Amanda Lambrechts said.

After drinking that much sugar, registered dietitian Amanda Lambrechts says some people may feel the opposite effect they were hoping to get from coffee. Rather than waking up, they crash.

Dietitians say you don’t have to quit your specialty beverage for just black coffee– but instead try experimenting with a few different ingredients.

Lambrechts says it’s ok to have these drinks on occasion, but if you find yourself drinking them more often– she suggests making modifications.

“You could always do the non-fat, non-whip. That’s going to take a little bit of the calories, lower that and then also the fat content. If you’re wanting to lower that sugar content and the carbs, then you could also order it where you’re doing half of the number of pumps of that syrup,” Lambrechts said.

For more control over exactly what’s in your drink, she says try making it at home– adding that Hy-Vee even offers a recipe for an at home version of the pumpkin spice latte.

“You can control how much of the different spices you’re putting in, you can use the real pumpkin puree, and then you can control that sweetness level too,” Lambrechts said.

She says that goes for any specialty beverage– small modifications can make a big difference.

Most coffee shops have their nutrition menu’s online to look at before you order, making modifications easier.

For the full recipe of the at home pumpkin spice latte, click here.

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