3. Pumpkin-Flavored Lattes
Many coffee joints will have a special autumn feature on their menu for pumpkin-flavored coffees. A medium pumpkin spice latte with whole milk from Starbucks has 410 calories, and the calories in similar drinks from other chains like Panera Bread and Dunkin Donuts are pretty much the same. Think before you sip: Can you really budget 400+ calories into your day for a single drink?
Trick: Order the smallest size and lighten the load by requesting fat-free milk and holding the whipped topping. Plain hot chai tea with some added low-fat milk can also give you the warm, fuzzy feeling of the season without the added sweeteners of a pumpkin latte.
4. Candy Corn
Yes, these ever-so-traditional candies are quite small, but for candy corn lovers who wait all year for their favorite seasonal splurge, they can be devastating to a healthy eating plan. The classic white, orange and yellow triangles contain 140 calories for 22 pieces, which is a small handful at most. Have a few and it’s no sweat, but sit near a jar full of candy corn and it's hard to track how much you've eaten.
Trick: Never eat candy corn from a large jar or straight out of the bag. This can lead to mindless overeating and no real sense of calories or serving size. Pre-portion a small serving and stick to it, then put the bag away and walk away from the jar. Also, try stretching out the sugar by combining a few pieces of candy corn with a trail mix of dried fruit and nuts for an added nutrition boost and more filling power.
5. Candy Apples
Don't be fooled: Just because there's a piece of fruit underneath a thick layer of caramel—and possibly nuts, cookie chunks or even chocolate—does NOT mean it's good for you or low in calories. If you cover a healthy fruit with sugar, it becomes a much less healthy choice. A single apple might only contain around 80-100 calories of nutrition, but when it's coated in caramel, it can more than triple in calories. Designer or "gourmet" candy apples covered in sprinkles, chocolate candies, nuts and chocolate are even worse.
Trick: Enjoy your apples by cutting them into wedges and dipping them into low-fat caramel dip, fat-free vanilla yogurt or peanut butter.
During the Halloween season, see these seasonal treats for what they really are: Treats that should be eaten in moderation and in small amounts. Put your label reading skills to work and keep your goals in mind, and you'll have no trouble avoiding Halloween treat temptation.
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