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Nutrition Articles  ›  Seasonal & Holiday Tips

The 4 Most Fattening Fall Foods

Watch Out for These Sneaky Calories!

-- By Sarah Haan, Registered Dietitian
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Halloween marks the beginning of a two-month season packed with parties and desserts—now that's scary for anyone who is trying to manage his or her weight.  Beyond the fun-size (and therefore calorie-controlled) candies of Halloween, several fall treats are big calorie bombs. Be on the lookout for these surprisingly high-cal foods, which can add up fast if you let your guard down.

Pumpkin Flavored Baked Goods
Pumpkin itself is a healthful food. Plain pumpkin puree contains a dose of vitamin A and fiber for a small amount of calories. But pair it with sugar, cream cheese frosting, shortening and butter and you’ve got a high-cal treat dressed in a healthy-looking orange outfit. Restaurants and coffee shops are the biggest villains, promoting their pumpkin scones, muffins, donuts and breads, which can contain up to 630 calories per serving. Don't let "low-fat" versions trick your either; low-fat is not the same thing as low-calorie. Your best bet is to avoid all of these pumpkin treats, unless you look up the nutrition facts before you bite and decide that it can fit into your day. Homemade treats, frequents at parties and offices, aren't necessarily better either, so be careful!

TRICK: You can bake your own pumpkin treats using less sugar and fat, plus whole-grain goodness. Use a mini muffin tin to help with keep your portions in check and steer clear of these seasonal baked goods!
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About The Author

Sarah Haan Sarah Haan
Sarah is a registered dietitian with a bachelor's degree in dietetics. She helps individuals adopt healthy lifestyles and manage their weight. An avid exerciser and cook, Sarah likes to run, lift weights and eat good food. See all of Sarah's articles.

Member Comments

  • JGOGLIN4
    When I make pumpkin pie, I use truvia and skim milk instead of the sugar and evaporated milk and then bake it is a casserole dish without the crust. Delicious!
    - 11/6/2013 10:58:27 AM
  • Would have liked to have seen TIM HORTONS listed, as they are also in the states.
    - 11/3/2013 8:28:51 PM
  • Usually with the fall theme drinks I like to drink them once in the season maybe twice. I'm a bigger fan of the Christmas drinks and those disappear after a month. Usually I make those a treat if I haven't been eating candy or anything for a week that's what I treat myself with. - 10/23/2013 2:27:41 PM
  • LUPE_SEIN
    Typo: In the line reading, "far too easy to eat four of five 'little' candies," I think the word "of" is supposed to be "or." - 10/17/2013 3:46:18 PM
  • Good and informative article. I love all these fall, comfort food goodies but have really had to hold back. I'll indulge in a single pumpkin spice Latte from strabucks at some point this month as I really love them.

    I've been making my own pumpkin muffins with only 1/4c brown sugar in 8 muffins, but what I would love to see from spark are some healthy(er) options for those fall goodies that can be bought from a commercial place. Sometimes friends want to go get some, and if you could give us some ideas for how to enjoy maybe 200 cals of somethine rather than regret 600, maybe we can steer the group there and order that while they get their giant scones and sugar-sugar coffees?

    If anyone knows of decent options to buy, please send me a spark message - 10/17/2013 1:29:03 PM
  • JENNAAW
    Of all the things listed in the article, pumpkin pastries are my biggest temptation. But since joining Spark I have been making it a point to look up healthier versions I can make rather than buying off the shelf. This year I will try to concoct a pumpkin flavored baked donut. I used to overindulge in Halloween candy, calorie laden drinks, everything in this article but over the years I have weaned myself away to the point that I am repulsed by the sugar and fat overload. That is progress , for me. It was certainly not an overnight thing for me; I had to do it bit by bit. - 10/6/2013 7:40:54 AM
  • Okay, that pumpkin pie image on the side of the page today advertising this story is totally calling to me! But I'm going to make an apple pie instead, since I was just apple picking today, and this week's picking is crunchier and more tempting for fresh eating than the ones I picked last week.

    I so love eating during the harvest season. - 10/5/2013 6:59:33 PM
  • please share your recipe...please. thanks - 10/10/2011 11:47:02 PM
  • @HelloWorld11 - I agree that having that recipe would be a wonderful thing for LOTS of us! - 10/10/2011 9:13:31 PM
  • LJEINVT
    Any chance you'd like to share that Pumpkin Latte recipe or tell us where to find it? Thanks.

    I love apple and pumpkin anything esp. this time of year. This morning I made Pumpkin Muffins by mixing a Carrot Cake Mix and a 15 oz can of pumpkin. Add as much cinnamon and/ or nutmeg as you enjoy. I couldn't believe how easy. I made 12 muffins at 155 calories each. Because they are not as high as I would like in certain categories of nutrition, I consider these an occasional treat. - 10/10/2011 7:30:23 PM
  • HELLOWORLD11
    I found a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe - it's made with real pumpkin puree, milk, spices, sweetner of your choice, strong coffee. Just had a cup this morning - 87 calories with %110 of my vitamin A, 5 gram of protein and even some fiber. It's awesome and a lot cheaper than Starbucks. Not that I'm against people treating themselves at Starbucks, I've just always found theirs incredible sweet (although now I know you can ask for less pumps - thanks!) - 10/10/2011 12:14:57 PM
  • Cut that pumpkin muffin in half and save the other part for tomorrow. Get a small pumpkin latte and skip the whipped cream. You really don't have to deny yourself these things just because they're calorie-heavy. I love Starbucks pumpkin lattes. - 10/10/2011 10:46:18 AM
  • FEISTYJEN
    moderation :) One nonfat, 2 pump, no whip grande pumpkin spice latte a week isn't the end of the world! - 10/10/2011 10:01:30 AM
  • Are we really going out and getting grande drinks? I wish they had listed the smaller sizes too. Smaller sizes promote that feeling of a treat (like "fun size" bars) without the remorse later. - 10/10/2011 9:18:57 AM
  • Without whip a grande pumpkin spice latte is only 310 calories. I don't think that's much of a splurge unless you do it frequently. Pumpkin coffee is my favorite holiday treat and I won't give it up any time soon. :P - 10/10/2011 8:02:29 AM