this article really isnt about the latte. im just posting because i read something that i found interesting.
McDonald's Halloween Trick: There's No Pumpkin in That Latte
Posted: 10/20/2013 8:20 pm
Forty-eight grams of sugar -- that's how much sweetener is in one medium-sized Pumpkin Spiced Latte
from McDonald's. The ads for this autumnal drink are everywhere lately,
but what's absent is any indication of what comprises this "seasonal
Most people would never guess just how much sugar it contains: 12 teaspoons of sugar. The American Heart Association
recommends that women consume no more than 6teaspoons of sugar in an
entire day, and for men it's 9. Those 12 teaspoons are more sugar than
the average person should consume in a two-day period.
And aside from the milk and coffee, the ingredient list in this drink
is downright frightening. Here's the list for just the "pumpkin spice
Fructose, Water, Natural (Plant and Dairy Sources) and
Artificial Flavors, Nonfat Milk, Annatto Extract (Color), Caramel Color,
Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Xanthan Gum, Salt, Sucralose.
Fructose is what Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric neuroendocrinologist
and professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San
Francisco, believes is the greatest scourge in our American diet. He
actually calls it a poison and links it to diabetes, liver dysfunction,
cancer, and dementia.
"Each person's liver has a limited capacity to metabolize
[fructose]," Lustig wrote to me in an email. "Any extra over your
threshold will get turned into liver fat. A 40-gram fructose load means
lots of liver fat. That liver fat can either be exported as
triglyceride, which will give you atherosclerosis, or will stay in your
liver and give you fatty liver disease which is the driving force behind
diabetes. So your liver decides which metabolic disease you will get."
As if all that weren't bad enough, fructose also makes people want to
eat more. "Fructose stimulates excessive and continued consumption by
tricking your brain into wanting more," Lustig writes in his recent
book, Fat Chance.
And that's great for McDonald's, because after downing its 340 liquid
calories, you're likely to be hungry. If you opted for a "healthier"
choice at McDonald's and ate the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal,
you'd be consuming another 32 grams of sugar. That means, in one meal,
you have taken in 20 teaspoons of sugar, or the equivalent amount of
sugar found in three entire Snicker's bars.
Oh, and McDonald's is kind enough to do the math for you with its "meal builder" program
on its website. After entering the latte and the oatmeal, the caloric
tally was 630. I'm not as interested in the quantity of calories as much
as I am interested in the quality. These 630 calories are guaranteed to
make you hungry, if not starving, within hours of eating.
It sounds counterintuitive, but sugar-loaded calories and
particularly liquid calories are not processed by our bodies the same
way that real foods (full of fiber, fat, and other nutrients) are. The
satiety that comes from eating real, whole foods last hours and keeps
blood sugar on an even keel.
But back to the ingredients. You'll also notice caramel color, which was declared a carcinogenic substance by the state of California. In order to avoid putting a warning label on soda cartons, PepsiCo claimed it would
discontinue its use following in the footsteps of Coca-Cola, which also
phased out caramel color. PepsiCo drew attention this summer after a
watchdog group published findings that Pepsi sold outside of California
still contained the substance.
The chemical, called 4-methylimidazole or 4-Mel, is linked to
cancer in mice and rats. Apparently, McDonald's is just fine keeping
this carcinogen in its offerings, despite the consumer pressure that
forced PepsiCo and Coca-Cola to remove it. In addition to the caramel
color, there are five other additives and preservatives in the latte
along with sucralose (also known as Splenda) an artificial sweetener for
You might notice an ingredient that is conspicuously absent from the
list -- pumpkin. This much-hyped seasonal treat has not a trace of
pumpkin. Claiming that this drink is "pumpkin spiced" is misleading, if
not an outright lie, but it is all too common for a food industry that
bases marketing and product sales on an array of inaccurate and false
Without regulations or limits to what companies can concoct, market,
and sell, and without clear and easily accessible labeling for all
ingredients, American consumers are left fending for themselves. And
given this crazy food landscape -- where a seemingly simple latte may
pose a serious health risk -- that's no easy task.