The latte is sweet, frothy, and has the most deliciously wintery name ever—but what's actually in it?

By Esther Crain
Updated November 07, 2019

Just in time for the polar vortex and the insanity of Black Friday shopping comes Starbucks' seasonal holiday offerings—including its beloved Chestnut Praline Latte. This deliciously named concoction blends espresso, caramelized chestnuts, steamed milk, praline bits, and whipped cream. It's been five years since Starbucks debuted the latte, yet the spicy-sweet beverage is still (unsurprisingly) a huge crowdpleaser. But can one too many give you a gnarly, sugar-induced headache?

Here's a nutritional cheat sheet: While a grande (16 ounces) Chestnut Praline Latte made with 2% milk or soymilk is a little lower in calories than its Pumpkin Spice Latte cousin made with the same milk (330 calories versus 380), that's still a sizeable chunk of your daily calorie needs. The 2% Chestnut Praline's 13 grams of fat (8 grams from saturated fat) comes out to a little less than 20 percent of your total recommended daily fat allowance. Plus, with 39 grams of sugar, it's almost like drinking a bottle of sweetened soda.

On the plus side, the 2% latte packs 12 grams of protein and 20 percent of your vitamin A, not to mention the milk supplies 40 percent of your daily calcium needs. (Want other ideas for healthy Starbucks drinks? See what 20 fit celebs order from Starbucks when they make a coffee run.)

Still, how can you make this drink less of a liquid dessert? For starters, you can shave off roughly 50 calories by ordering it with nonfat milk, and get it down to a reasonable 210 calories by going sans whipped cream. You can also ask the barista for one pump of syrup rather than the latte's standard four pumps. (Related: The Healthiest Things You'll Find On the Starbucks Menu)

Of course, the Chestnut Praline Latte will never have the nutritional profile of green juice. If you genuinely want to indulge a little this holiday season, do you and enjoy every sip. But if you're trying to be mindful of things like sugar intake, a few simple switches can at least help you avoid some unwanted head pain and a midday energy crash.

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