Pick autumnal eats brimming with vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting beta-carotene over seasonal treats that pack scary amounts of calories, sugar and fat.
Worst: The Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake
739 calories, 29 g sat fat (additional nutrition information N/A)
You’d have to eat half a stick of butter, 29 slices of bacon, or eight fast-food hamburgers to take in as much saturated fat as you’ll find in this devilish dessert. The scariest part: it’s meant to be ordered on top of a meal. But we can’t say we’re surprised by The Cheesecake Factory’s gluttonous ways. Our food cop friends at Eat This, Not That! recently named the chain’s French Toast Napoleon the “Worst Food in America.”
Worst: Starbucks Pumpkin Scone
480 calories, 17 g fat, 43 g sugar
Starbucks sells several pumpkin-flavored pastries, but this little guy takes the, er, cake in terms of calories, sugar and fat. The scone beats out both the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin (340 calories, 13 g fat, 28 g sugar) and the Pumpkin Bread (390 calories, 14 g fat, 38 g sugar). Plus, don’t expect much of a health boost from the seasonal squash. Icing and butter come before pumpkin puree in the ingredient list.
Worst: Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte
330 calories, 7 g fat, 50 g sugar for a 16-ounce grande made with non-fat milk
Whatever you do, don’t wash Starbucks’ orange eats down with a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Sure, it screams fall, but the blend of espresso, pumpkin-flavored syrup, and steamed milk topped with sweetened whipped cream delivers more than 12 spoonfuls of sugar.
Worst: Panera Pumpkin Muffin
590 calories, 22 g fat, 53 g sugar
To take in as many calories as there are in this colossal muffin, you’d need to put away eight Candy Corn Oreos or 80 pieces of candy corn. If you can’t resist a pumpkin fix at Panera, go with the slightly less guilt-inducing Pumpkin Muffie (290 calories, 11 g fat, 26 g sugar) or the Pumpkin Bagel (380 calories, 5 g fat, 24 g sugar).
Worst: Jamba Juice Pumpkin Smash Smoothie
390 calories, 0 g fat, 75 g sugar for 16 ounces
This creamy blend of pumpkin spice base, yogurt, soymilk and ice is more milkshake than smoothie. By “pumpkin spice base,” the chain means straight-up sugar. A 16-ounce cup contains 18 spoonfuls of the sweet stuff, while a 24-ounce original size packs 26 teaspoons along with 550 calories.
Worst: Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Donut
360 calories, 21 g fat, 20 g sugar
Give in to this gut-busting breakfast and you’ll have a hard time staying satisfied until lunchtime. The doughnut delivers only 1 g of fiber and 3 g of protein. A bowl of cereal, like Nature’s Path Flax Plus Pumpkin Raisin Crunch, is a smarter way to fill your belly on a fall morning. A three-quarter cup serving with non-fat milk contains 250 calories, 4.5 g of fat, and 19 g of sugar along with 7 g of fiber, 19 g of whole grains, and 6 g of protein.
Worst: Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kisses
220 calories, 13 g fat, 22 g sugar for 9 pieces
If you can’t stop yourself from sampling the bite-sized candies you’ve stashed away for Halloween, skip these limited edition Kisses and opt for a lower-calorie confection. Nine Starburst fruit chews still set you back 22 g of sugar, but cost you only 130 calories and don’t contain any fat. Similarly, six Jolly Ranchers add up to 140 calories, 22 g of sugar, and 0 g of fat.
Best: Thomas’ Pumpkin Spice Bagel Thins
110 calories, 1 g fat, 3 g sugar per bagel
A blend of cinnamon, pumpkin, and nutmeg complement this soft whole-grain bagel _ all for less than half the carbs you’d down in a traditional bagel. Added bonus: They’re made with real pumpkin.
Best: Pumpkin-Ginger Soup
102 calories, 1 g fat, 8 g sugar
It’s hard to find this seasonal favorite packaged, but it’s incredibly easy to whip up. Armed with chicken broth and canned pumpkin, you’ll find yourself slurping away the best of fall in less than 30 minutes.
Best: Green Mountain Pumpkin Spice Coffee
Approx. 2-5 calories per cup
Pumpkin-flavored lattes can pack upwards of 470 calories per serving. Get a similar flavor with a fraction of the fat by sipping on spiced coffee instead. Your taste buds _ and belly _ will thank you.
Best: Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea
0 calories per cup
Pumpkin flakes, ginger, and cinnamon mix to provide the perfect fall pick-me-up _ with zero calories. Just make sure to go easy on any sugar you may add.
Best: Healthy Choice Pumpkin Squash Ravioli
310 calories, 6 g fat, 7 g sugar per meal
Pumpkin, asparagus, butternut squash, and apple make this a deliciously sweet and savory entree. We love that most of the ingredients on the label are recognizable.
Best: Clif Bar Spiced Pumpkin Pie
240 calories, 4 g fat, 25 g sugar per bar
Made with organic oats, raisins, and packing 9 g of protein, it’s everything you would expect in an energy bar _ with a little of the season baked-in. Put this on the list of post-workout snacks to stock up on this fall.
Best: Red Mango Pumpkin Spice Frozen Yogurt
80 calories, 0 g fat, 18 g sugar
With 2 g of protein, and no fat, this guiltless pleasure if perfect for those unseasonably warm autumn days. It’s also less than 100 calories per half cup, giving you plenty of wiggle room to add on a topping _ or two.
Best: Kashi Crunch Granola Bars Pumpkin Spice Flax
170 calories, 6 g fat, 10 g sugar for 2 bars
We love that each serving includes 4 g of fiber, 6 g of protein and Omega-3s. And with only 10 g of sugar per serving, you’ll tame your sweet tooth for about half the sugar you would consume in a doughnut or piece of pie.