What's Really In the Starbucks Chestnut Praline Latte?

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

Starbucks' holiday gift to the world is its wintry seasonal offerings — and among them, as always, is the beloved Chestnut Praline Latte. This deliciously named concoction blends espresso, caramelized chestnuts, steamed milk, praline bits, and whipped cream. It's been years since Starbucks debuted the latte, yet the spicy-sweet beverage is still (unsurprisingly) a huge crowd-pleaser. But can one too many give you a gnarly, sugar-induced headache?

Here's your nutritional cheat sheet: While a grande (16-ounce) Chestnut Praline Latte made with 2% milk or soy milk is a little lower in calories than its Pumpkin Spice Latte cousin made with the same milk (330 calories versus 390), that's still a sizable chunk of your daily calorie needs.

And the 2% Chestnut Praline's 14 grams of fat (9 grams from saturated fat) comes out to a little less than 20 percent of your total recommended daily fat allowance and almost half of the recommended daily value of saturated fat. 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. The soy milk option will also be rich in protein.

Still, how can you make this drink less of a liquid dessert? For starters, you can take off roughly 50 calories by ordering it with nonfat milk, and make it a 210-calorie drink by going sans whipped cream. You can also ask the barista for one pump of syrup rather than the latte's standard four pumps to take out about 15 grams of sugar.

Of course, the Chestnut Praline Latte will never have the nutritional profile of cold brew, and that's okay. If you genuinely want to indulge a little this holiday season, you do you and enjoy every sip! But if you're trying to be mindful of factors such as 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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