Breakthrough Patient Recruitment

: Pumpkin Spice: Not So #Basic in Sugar

Pumpkin Spice: Not So #Basic in Sugar

Recruitment Specialist

With the new school year kicking off and temperatures cooling down, it's evident that fall is just around the corner. However, according to my social networks there is one key event that signals this seasonal change: the return of the PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte; you can follow it on Twitter). For the next several months, every form of mass-marketed food or beverage you consume (or that your dog does--thanks, Trader Joe's) likely is sporting a festive pumpkin spice version. In reality though, this faux version of America's favorite gourd should just be called "pumpkin-flavored sugar."

According to the American Heart Association, daily sugar intake for men should not exceed 9 teaspoons and women should stick to about 6. To translate this into what you see on nutrition labels, this is about 37.5 and 25 grams, respectively. Keep in mind, it is often argued that this number is still too high, with some critics and dieticians even proposing that added sugar should be regulated like alcohol or tobacco due to its health effects. To reiterate your grade school health classes, here are some of the key reasons you should limit sugar consumption:

Watch out, Charlie Brown! A Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte has 50 grams of sugar! A Starbucks Caffè Latte of the same size has only 17 grams. This staggering difference is not just in overpriced coffee beverages either. Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles have double the sugar of their original counterparts. Original sweetened Silk soy milk (note, this is already sweetened) has a quarter of the sugar of the Pumpkin Spice variety (the latter of which comes in at 24 grams per serving). Higher amounts of sugar also exist in servings of pumpkin spice marshmallows, pumpkin spice Oreo cookies, and nearly everything else labeled "pumpkin spice." In fact, I could not find an instance where this was not the case.

Granted, not many of these artificially flavored items are particularly healthy to begin with, but pumpkin itself is actually a super healthy squash. If you want to get your pumpkin fix this fall without maxing out your lifetime sugar intake, try one of these recipes out that havezero added sugar:

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