Your pumpkin spice latte contains more sugar than a can of Coke

By Rosalind Erskine
Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 4:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 4:57 pm
Do you know how much sugar is in some of the most popular hot drinks sold at high street chains? (Photo: Starbucks)
Do you know how much sugar is in some of the most popular hot drinks sold at high street chains? (Photo: Starbucks)

As the weather gets cooler, you may find yourself stopping by a coffee shop for a warming treat. But do you know how much sugar is in some of the most popular hot drinks sold at high street chains like Starbucks?

Marketing Agency Embryo Digital has worked with health, nutrition and fitness experts to look at exactly what goes into the autumn drink options at Starbucks, Costa Coffee, Caffe Nero, Pret a Manger and Greggs.

They specifically researched the nutritional value of a regular sized serving, using semi-skimmed and non-dairy milk at each coffee shop. They found that over half of the top 10 most sugary drinks contain more sugar than a 330ml can of Coca-Cola (around 35g).

Popular hot drinks and their sugar content

Most Popular

    • Pumpkin Spiced Latte with semi-skimmed milk or soya milk from Starbucks – 50g of sugar
    • Signature Hazelnut Hot Chocolate with semi-skimmed milk from Starbucks - 45.1g of sugar
    • Rice-Coconut Hot Chocolate from Pret a Manger - 40.4g of sugar
    • Caramelatte with semi-skimmed milk from Caffe Nero - 39.9g of sugar
    • White Chocolate Mocha with coconut milk from Starbucks - 34.7g of sugar
    • Honeycomb Cappuccino with semi-skimmed milk from Costa Coffee - 34.5g
    • Chocolate Milano with semi skimmed milk from Caffe Nero - 33.2g of sugar
    • Honeycomb Latte Macchiato with oat milk from Costa Coffee - 32.1g of sugar
    • Vanilla Oat Latte from Starbucks - 31.4g of sugar
    • Mocha with semi-skimmed milk from Greggs - 30g of sugar

    How much sugar can you have in a day?

    The recommended daily sugar intake for an adult according to health experts is 30g, which roughly equates to seven whole sugar cubes.

    Medical experts advise coffee fans to be cautious when consuming these warm beverages as some of them are promoted to be healthier due to the difference of milk. However, drinks which contain high sugar content can contribute to tooth decay, erosion and diabetes.

    Dr Alex Carruthers from Dental Excellence, commented on these findings, saying, “These seasonal drinks can have a huge impact on teeth and general oral health increasing the risk of decay and erosion exponentially. We recommend Britons to be mindful of the amount of these hot drinks they consume as this could impact the condition of your teeth. We advise people across the country to follow your dentist's advice of good oral hygiene on a daily basis.”

    GP and Medical Adviser at Prescription Doctor, Dr Aragona Gisueppe shared how these levels of sugar in drinks can cause Type 2 diabetes, “Overeating too much sugar can have a hugely damaging effect on your health from consuming too many calories which causes weight gain, obesity and health problems such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

    “A varied and balanced diet is the best way to manage any health complications and lower your chances of developing diabetes or other health conditions."

    A version of this article first appeared on The Scotsman