5 Ways to Make Your Pumpkin Spice Latte Habit Healthier

Trim off that extra sugar with these tips for guilt-free PSLs.

Fall is upon us, and what does that mean? The pumpkin spice fans are already lining up at Starbucks for the very first taste of the season. For those of us trying to make healthy choices, though, it’s hard to enjoy that sweet sipper without thinking about the ingredients. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a healthy pumpkin spice latte. We’ll show you how to cut back on fat, sugar and calories without sacrificing the best flavor of fall.

Check out everything that goes into your favorite fall sipper.

1. Lighten the Syrup Load

What makes the PSL so orange and sweet is the thick syrup that goes into it, and Starbucks seriously loads it up. For a hot venti PSL, you’ll get five pumps of syrup at 33 calories per pump. (That’s 165 calories before milk and whipped cream!) Venti iced lattes get even more at six pumps. To easily cut calories, ask the barista to lower the amount of syrup to two or three pumps.

Find more healthy drinks at Starbucks.

2. Lose the Whipped Cream

We know—the whipped cream is everyone’s favorite part. Unfortunately, whipped cream at Starbucks is made with vanilla syrup and heavy whipping cream, which together pack a pretty sugary punch at 80 calories. You can ask the barista to omit the whipped cream and the pumpkin spice topping and enjoy the PSL without extra sugar getting in the way.

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3. Substitute the Milk for Something Healthier

You might be surprised at the sugar you can avoid by experimenting with specialty milks. PSLs are typically made with 2%, but Starbucks also has soy, coconut and almond milk. Soy will provide the sweetness you crave, coconut boasts a unique flavor and frothy texture and the unsweetened almond milk is the best choice for lowering your calorie count. These will be about a 60-cent upcharge, so make sure you mention the switch to the cashier as you order.

4. Minimize Your Order

If you just can’t bear to part with the classic taste, you can always go for a smaller size. A tall with all the fixings is still 300 calories, but if you’ve got a busy day ahead, it may be the best option. Without whipped cream and with almond milk, you can chop that count almost in half to 180 calories. (And it’s just as tasty as the original.)

5. Switch It Up

Not a lot of people know this, but you can add the pumpkin spice syrup to just about anything on the menu. Keep it low-cal and high-caffeine by requesting a couple pumps in your Americano or black coffee. You can also opt for a pumpkin-flavored iced coffee with cream, which will save you both money and calories. (Here’s how to avoid paying for refills, too.)

Just make sure to thank your barista!

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Laurie Dixon
Having a passion for writing her whole life, Laurie joined the Taste of Home team to bring together her two favorite things—creative writing and food. She spends most of her time playing with her dog, drafting up short stories and, of course, trying out new recipes.