Focus On Nutrition > Think Twice About Pumpkin Spice

Focus on Nutrition

Think Twice About Pumpkin Spice

picnic basket

Pumpkin lattes, pumpkin-spiced ice cream, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin frosting, pumpkin candy…if you’ve been in a grocery store lately you’ve probably seen one of these treats. We are officially in the season of pumpkin-spiced everything. According to Registered Dietitian and nutrition expert for TOPS, Dena McDowell, these foods have one thing in common…and it has nothing to do with actual pumpkin. Most of these treats are loaded with sugar and calories and lack the nutrients of real pumpkin. That’s a shame, too, since, according to Dena, pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, thiamin, potassium and antioxidants. To help you reap the nutritional benefits of this natural superfood, Dena shares the following tips for adding pumpkin to your diet.

  1. Boost your fiber for the day by adding pumpkin puree to yogurt.
  2. Need to satisfy your sweet tooth? Add cooked pumpkin to homemade muffins or cookies. Using pumpkin puree can substitute for oil or butter and will produce a moist and light final product.
  3. Enjoy a hearty soup or stew made with pumpkin.
  4. Don’t forget about the seeds! Lightly coat pumpkin seeds with olive oil and seasonings of your choice and bake. Enjoy this crunchy snack mixed with dried fruit.

If pumpkin-spiced treats are one of your favorite parts of fall, it’s perfectly okay to indulge every once in a while. Just remember that, sometimes, you can’t beat the real thing.

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