Why You Should Probably Rethink Your Inaugural Pumpkin Spice Latte

This month, we've been celebrating the many reasons that the onset of fall is a wonderful thing-and we're not alone. Last Tuesday (that's the day after Labor Day, for those keeping score at home), Starbucks brought back its autumnal icon: the pumpkin spice latte. And while this seasonal staple had folks lining up for a hot drink in 90 degree weather, they may not have realized what they were in for.

For the record, a 16 ounce pumpkin spice latte made with Starbucks' standard 2% milk and signature whipped cream boasts an astounding 49 grams of sugar. That's more sugar than you'll find in half a pint (that's 2 servings) of Ben & Jerry's Cheesecake Brownie ice cream, and about the same amount as an entire bag of Skittles. Which is not exactly what you need when you're already facing the single most fattening season of the year. (And the sugar crash won't help your busy morning at work, either.)

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But all hope is not lost. If you'd still like to treat yourself to a sweet taste of fall, there are ways to cut a few corners:

1.) Skip the whip. Ok, cutting out the whipped cream only reduces the sugar by a negligible amount. But it also reduces your beverage by 50 calories or more, so, you probably should do it anyway.

2.) Ask for half. The funny thing about baristas is that they are people. Moreover, they are people who understand temptation better than anyone, because they're encouraged to try every over-the-top, caramel-drizzled, blended-with-ice-cream drink on the menu. So if you let them know you're concerned about the sugar content of your favorite drink, and politely ask them to just add half the syrup, they'll probably oblige.

3.) Go small. Regardless of what Starbucks wants you to think, they do still have the "short", or 8 ounce size. Which is really plenty of sugary coffee drink for any human-and slices the sugar content in half. So now it's only as much as a candy bar. Which is why you should….

4.) Think of it as dessert. Because that's what it is. Treat it like candy, and you'll be less likely to pile it on top of a scone and call it "breakfast."

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(Photo: Starbucks)