The Case Against Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Alright we know its fall when all you hear the ladies people talk about is pumpkin spice beverages. I know they are great – I have had 2 recently. One from Starbucks and one from McDonalds.

I would just like to bring to light the nutrition information and maybe help you decide on trying something else instead of this seasonal concoction of sugar and artificial flavour.

So let’s be real – no one is walking out with at least a medium so thats what I am going to highlight here.

Starbucks – Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte 2% -( NO WHIP – you don’t need that anyways)

GrandeLet’s talk about whats in the syrup first. Here is the ingredients from the Starbucks official website. CONDENSED NONFAT MILK, SUGAR, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, ANNATO (FOR COLOR), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE).

  • Nonfat milk (disgusting)
  • Sugar (duh)
  • High fructose corn syrup (Should not be consumed by anyone)
  • Annato (What the shit is that? I had to look that up. Its natural food coloring made from the ground up seed pods of the annato tree. Annato is added for colour tor to cheese, butter, margarine, rice, smoked fish, and microwave popcorn. It is often used as a substitute for the expensive herb saffron.)
  • Natural and Artificial flavours (Don’t trust natural either – a common vanilla substitute is castoreum – which is a located near the anal glands of beavers. Yum)
  • Caramel colour for that “so it at least looks like pumpkin coloured)
  • And some preservatives so that shit doesn’t expire for years.

Then of course you will need some cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to complete the “Pumpkin” taste.

47 grams of Sugar is insane – especially in liquid format. You know that is getting metabolized real quick impacting insulin levels and likely being stored as body fat. Just for comparison purposes: There is 33grams of sugar in a can of Coke.

So – McDonalds, in their quest to make it socially acceptable to sit in their restaurant as per “McCafe” launches their Pumpkin Spice Latte (Do people actually do that? Other than me who sits in the parking lot using their WiFi to download podcasts when I’m on the road)

McDonalds Medium Pumpkin Spice Latte made with whole milk


Well, McDonalds made it easy to find everything – it was all on this page, where Starbucks led me on an additional search to find the syrup.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup: Fructose, Water, Natural (Plant and Dairy Sources) and Artificial Flavors, Nonfat Milk, Annatto Extract (Color), Caramel Color, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Xanthan Gum, Salt, Sucralose.

So basically all the same ingredients as the Starbucks one, but with some Xantham gum (used as a thickening agent) and sucralose (

And McDonalds was worse in the sugar department. Also, they gotta keep you addicted so they have an incentive program if you buy like 7 mediums you get the 8th free or something like that)

The important question of all is….

WHERE ARE THE PUMPKINS?????????????????????????????

In both drinks there is not an ounce of pumpkin. Not that I expect either of these companies to be health minded, but pumpkins are a great source of many nutrients.

So how can YOU do this better? Here are some links to some great websites.