Dunkin' Just Released New Pumpkin Drinks for Fall—Here's What a Dietitian Would Order
Fall is not just right around the corner; it's also right around the Dunkin' drive-thru. On August 17, Dunkin' released their Proud to Pumpkin fall menu, including four new and returning seasonal drinks—and yes, that includes a PSL.
Two returning flavors include the popular Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and Pumpkin Spice Signature Latte. While the cold brew offers bolder notes of brown sugar and fall spices, the latte is known for its sweet pumpkin and vanilla flavors.
Here are the nutritional facts for a small, black Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew:
- 110 calories
- 2 grams total fat
- 1 gram saturated fat
- 40 milligrams sodium
- 22 grams carbohydrates
- 22 grams sugar
- 20 grams added sugar
- 1 gram protein
While this drink is within our recommended parameters for calories and sodium, its added sugar count is pretty high. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 36 grams or 25 grams of added sugar for men and women, respectively. So for women, this drink contains 80% of the recommended daily limit for added sugar (and about 56% for men).
"If you enjoy Dunkin's Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, it doesn't have to be off-limits if you're trying to follow a healthy eating pattern," says Jessica Ball, M.S., RD, nutrition editor at EatingWell. "But instead of a daily staple, it would be better enjoyed as a special-occasion fall treat. You could also ask to omit the cinnamon sugar that is sprinkled on top to help lower the amount of added sugar as well."
Served hot or cold, here's the nutritional value for a small Pumpkin Spice Signature Latte with skim milk:
- 250 calories
- 5 grams total fat
- 3 grams saturated fat
- 150 milligrams sodium
- 43 grams carbohydrates
- 38 grams sugar
- 25 grams added sugar
- 8 grams protein
This drink is high in calories, fat and sodium in comparison to the cold brew, likely due to the inclusion of milk, whipped cream and caramel drizzle. And there's no denying the 38 grams of sugar in this drink (25 of which are added).
"When thinking about the added sugar in this drink, the flavored syrups, whipped cream, caramel drizzle and cinnamon sugar dusting are the heavy hitters," explains Ball. "One way to lower the added sugar (and calories) in this drink would be to ask for half of the typical pumps of flavoring, and skip the high-added-sugar toppings like whipped cream, caramel and cinnamon sugar. If you really enjoy these toppings, you can ask for less or simply be mindful about how this drink fits into the rest of your day and week."
Dunkin' has also announced two new fall drinks, including a Nutty Pumpkin Coffee. This coffee combines Dunkin's original blend with a pumpkin spice swirl, hazelnut flavor shot and cream. Available hot or cold, this beverage is suited for warm and cool days.
For a small Nutty Pumpkin Coffee, the nutrition facts read:
- 170 calories
- 6 grams total fat
- 3 grams saturated fat
- 85 milligrams sodium
- 26 grams carbohydrates
- 25 grams sugar
- 21 grams added sugar
- 3 grams protein
This drink is lower in calories and is within our parameters for sodium, but the amount of added sugar is close to the daily intake limit for women set by the American Heart Association.
"Eating too much added sugar can lead to some undesired effects, including weight gain, dental decay and increased risk for chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, and most Americans consume too much," elaborates Ball. "For this reason, I would suggest being mindful about how often you order drinks like the Nutty Pumpkin Coffee. It's always important to think about your overall pattern and how certain treats, like a high-sugar coffee drink, fit into your day."
And while it's not a pumpkin drink, the brand-new Blood Orange Dunkin' Refresher is worth a mention. This citrus-forward refresher mixes the flavors of cranberry and blood orange with ginger and cinnamon to create the ultimate iced drink for the season. It can be made with green tea or coconut milk.
For a small Blood Orange Dunkin' Refresher with coconut milk, we're looking at:
- 120 calories
- 3 grams total fat
- 2.5 grams saturated fat
- 45 milligrams sodium
- 22 grams carbohydrates
- 20 grams sugar
- 19 grams added sugar
- 0 grams protein
The green-tea version of this drink has 30 fewer calories and 0 grams of fat, but contains the same amount of sodium and sugar. Both are low-calorie options, but the green-tea version could be a better option for something lighter and lower in fat and calories.
These new Dunkin' drinks sound like delicious, occasional treats with their seasonal flavors, but it's important to remember their high counts of added sugar while ordering. And if you want to lower the amount of added sugar in your drink, trying asking to customize your drink with fewer shots of flavoring or skip the sugar dustings or caramel drizzles.They may not be best for your daily routine, but a healthy eating pattern should make room to treat yourself in moderation and to try one of the fall options while prepping for the season!