Starbucks Has a New Pistachio Latte, and Dietitians Say It’s a Total Sugar Bomb
Prevention 2hrs ago
a cup of coffee on a table: Starbucks released the Pistachio Latte, and dietitians say its nutrition makes it more of a dessert. Here’s what to know about the drink’s calories and sugar. © Starbucks Starbucks released the Pistachio Latte, and dietitians say its nutrition makes it more of a dessert. Here’s what to know about the drink’s calories and sugar.
  • Starbucks has released the Pistachio Latte nationwide as part of its winter 2021 menu.
  • The drink features “cozy flavors of sweet pistachio and rich brown butter paired with espresso and steamed milk.”
  • Dietitians weigh in on the Pistachio Latte’s nutrition information, including ingredients, calories, and sugar content.

It’s been a while since Starbucks released a new drink (by Starbucks standards) but the coffee giant is starting off the year with a new winter menu, and there’s one drink in particular that’s getting some early buzz.

It’s called the Pistachio Latte, and it was created at Starbucks’ Chicago Roastery back in 2019—it’s just now available to the masses. (The idea for the drink came from the love customers have for the Starbucks Reserve Hazelnut Bianco Latte, per a press release.)

People are already sharing photos, reviews, and pictures of the drink—which can be served hot or iced—on social media. The overall consensus: It’s delicious. But what’s inside? We asked dietitians to break it down.

What’s in the Starbucks Pistachio Latte?

The Pistachio Latte features “cozy flavors of sweet pistachio and rich brown butter paired with espresso and steamed milk,” according to Starbucks. Per a press release, the latte features a sauce “made with real pistachios and flavors of salted brown buttery topping.”

The drink is specifically made up of the following:

milk, pistachio sauce [invert sugar, condensed nonfat milk, pistachio butter (ground pistachios), natural flavors, cocoa butter, salt, preservative potassium sorbate, santhan gum, tocopherols, monoglycerides], brewed espresso, salted brown butter cookie flavored topping [sugars (sugar, powdered sugar), corn starch, sea salt, fruit and vegetable color (pumpkin, sugar beets, apple, carrot, hibiscus), natural flavors, salt].
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Is the Starbucks Pistachio Latte Vegan?

Nope. While you could substitute almond or coconut milk for cow’s milk, the pistachio latte’s sauce contains condensed milk, which is not vegan.

Starbucks Pistachio Latte nutrition

Here’s what you’re looking at in the nutrition department when you have a grande Starbucks Pistachio Latte with 2% milk:

  • Calories: 320
  • Fat: 9 g (5 g sat fat)
  • Carbohydrates: 48 g
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Sugars: 45 g
  • Sodium: 310 mg
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Caffeine: 150 mg

What’s the healthiest way to the enjoy the Pistachio Latte?

For what it’s worth, Starbucks never claimed its Pistachio Latte is healthy—and it’s not. “This latte is way more of a dessert than a coffee beverage,” says Keri Gans, M.S., R.D., a New York-based nutrition consultant and author of The Small Change Diet.

Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., author of The Little Book of Game-Changers calls it a “sugary coffee drink” that’s “best enjoyed in small portions and in moderation.”

Overall, the amount of fat and sugar are particularly problematic, says Gina Keatley, a certified dietitian-nutritionist practicing in New York City. “There are a lot of calories, not to mention the 45 grams of sugar,” she says. “Keep in mind added sugar recommendations are around 25 to 38 grams per day.”

If you want to try to make the drink a little healthier, Cording recommends asking for just one pump of the syrup to give you the flavor while cutting back on a little sugar and fat. You can also skip the salted brown butter topping “since the pistachio sauce will give a ton of flavor,” Keatley says.

But if you want to have a pistachio latte here and there, go for it—experts say the occasional treat is unlikely to torpedo your healthy eating goals.

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