Main Nutritious Intent Website

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Dos and Don'ts

Pumpkin spice gets a lot of publicity this time of year – both good and bad.  But whether you’re a pumpkin spice lover or not, it’s estimated that this food trend is more than a $500 million dollar industry.  
While the actual spices themselves can boast all sorts of health benefits from reducing inflammation, to helping with blood sugar control and digestion, and we all know that pumpkin is loaded with all sorts of vitamins that help reduce blood pressure and improve eye health, the reality is that consumers need to beware of the health halo on that autumnal packaged flavor combination.  
A donut, cookie, latte, cake, or candy is still just that – an occasional food that should play only a cameo role in your diet – whether or not it is pumpkin spiced or not.  

So how does one get this seasonal flavor fix in a more moderate, healthful way? 

  1.  Be a label reader.  Watch out especially for excess calories, lots of sugar (more than 9 grams added sugar for most slightly-sweet foods), and keep an eye on portion size. 
  1. Be picky.  Just because it comes in a festively decorated package with those magic words “pumpkin-spice” doesn’t mean it will appeal to you.  Life is too short and health is too important to waste the calories on foods that you consider mediocre.
  1. Pay attention to and assess your craving.  First, make sure you’re not just thirsty or bored.  If hunger really does play into the equation, then decide what will truly satisfy. If you’re wanting something sweet, don’t plow through loads of savory before you eat that one pumpkin cookie you’ve been wanting all week.  If crunchy is really what you want, then don’t down ice cream, yogurt and a latte before you get it right with a little crunchy granola bar or nut mix.
  1. Bake savvy.  Consider making your own pumpkin spice foods.  In 3 easy swaps, you can transform your favorite banana nut bran muffin into a pumpkin spice muffin.  
    pumpkin for the banana
    pumpkin spice for cinnamon  
    pumpkin seeds for walnuts  

And don’t hesitate to be bold and try something a bit more exotic like a pumpkin spice hummus or curry. 

Just use the same common sense that applies to most food choices to help you navigate the ever growing wave of pumpkin-spice products and you’ll be able to keep your calorie intake from growing just as steadily.  

No comments:

Post a Comment