Birthday celebrations are in order for the quintessential autumn drink: the Pumpkin Spice Latte.
The cult beverage has now been on the Starbucks menu for 20 years and it’s still adored by the masses, with almost every big name coffee chain offering customers their own version.
These seasonal drinks have armies of fans, some even shared with Metro.co.uk how they pay homage to the PSL – from themed pillows, throws, plates and cutlery sets, to a PSL scented wedding.
But while the lattes, now synonymous with falling leaves and 2014 Tumblr bloggers, might taste and smell great, they aren’t so good for your health.
For example, the original PSL blend is made using two espresso shots, milk, four pumps of pumpkin spice sauce, pumpkin spice toppings and whipped cream. It contains 15.4g of fat, 12g of which are saturated. It also packs in approximately 66.2mg of caffeine.
Indulging in just one Starbucks PSL will account for 347 calories of your daily recommended calorie intake – that’s nearly 20%.
Metro.co.uk spoke to Dr Ian Budd, clinical lead for MyBMI, who said we should approach our Pumpkin Spice Lattes with caution.
Dr Budd says: ‘Pumpkin Spice Lattes may be a tempting treat, but their high sugar content is definitely something to consider the next time you’re waiting in line for your daily caffeine fix.
‘When you eat or drink sugar it interacts with the plaque in your mouth to create acids that can damage your teeth. Too much sugar can lead to tooth decay as all the extra acid erodes your tooth enamel and dulls your smile.
‘Over time, this can cause cavities, tooth discolouration, and painful abscesses, which may result in root canals or even needing to have teeth removed.’
But it’s not just our teeth that are suffering.
‘Another thing to keep in mind is that PSLs often weigh in as some of the more calorific items on a coffee shop’s menu,’ says Dr Budd.
‘Regularly consuming more calories than your body needs can lead to weight gain and the potential health risks that come with it, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.’
Dr Budd warns to keep the Pumpkin Spice Lattes as ‘an occasional treat’ rather than your daily coffee hit.
There are some steps you should take if you decide to sip on your whipped cream pumpkin fix.
‘When you do decide to indulge, make sure you’re keeping your teeth clean and cared for to help avoid tooth decay,’ Dr Budd adds.
‘Remember to brush for two minutes twice a day, floss regularly, and keep up with your regular dental check-ups throughout the year.
‘You should also make sure to eat a balanced diet that will give your body all of the essential nutrients it needs to be at its best.’
Since Starbucks launched the Pumpkin Spice Latte many other brands have mimicked the iconic drink, including the likes of Pret and Greggs.
Starbucks has been contacted for comment.
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