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Are You Addicted to Pumpkin Spice Lattes?

By Sara Butler

Nothing says fall like a pumpkin spice latte – it’s become a staple of the season. How many of those tasty coffee drinks do you consume this time of year? Well, it turns out you may be drinking them for more reasons than just the taste. Here’s what happens to your body when you sip on the pumpkin spice!

The Stats

A whole milk pumpkin spice latte has about 420 calories, 50 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons worth, if you’re keeping track!) and 18 grams of fat. That’s more than just a snack since it’s pretty much an entire day’s worth of added sugar. It’s probably a good idea to try to limit your pumpkin spice habit.

Your Biology Loves It

The human body loves fat and sugar together. It interacts with your taste buds to boost the flavor of what you’re eating in order to make the flavors pop. That’s why it tastes so darn good! When you throw in the other ingredients, such as cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg, you’re pretty much throwing a party for your taste buds.

But don’t forget about the salt. A tall pumpkin spice latte has one-tenth of your daily recommended intake of salt per day. Salt is nature’s food enhancer, and it makes it taste better, both on your tongue and to your brain.

It’s a Happy Association

Every season has rituals, and autumn has several. You probably have some very good memories of autumn such as trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, Thanksgiving get-togethers and now pumpkin spice lattes. The tastes of fall have always included cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, and the pumpkin spice latte is like one big happy fall memory in a cup. So, you like it because it makes you think of happy things. Who can blame you for that?

But That Caffeine Though

Who doesn’t love a nice punch of caffeine to perk up their day? There’s a reason why caffeine is so universally loved since it’s the most common mood altering drug on the planet. It stimulates your central nervous system, making you more energetic and alert. But it also makes you crave more caffeine, so you’ll seek out caffeinated drinks such as the pumpkin spice latte to give you a pick me up.

There’s no shame in loving your pumpkin spice latte, but it’s not exactly a healthy beverage. That’s why you can and should enjoy your pumpkin spice -- just make sure it’s in healthy moderation!

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