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These Pumpkin-Flavored Products Should Scare You. Eat Our Versions, Instead.

Fall lovers, rejoice — ‘tis the season for pumpkin-flavored everything! While there are some pretty delicious things you can make with a pumpkin flare, there are still some products out there you’ll want to avoid. They may look pumpkin-y and delicious, but they’re really just chocked full of sugar and artificial flavor. Yuck.

Pillsbury Moist Supreme Perfectly Pumpkin Cake Mix

Courtesy of Wal Mart

I’m all for pumpkin cake because it’s so delicious! However, this cake mix has no actual pumpkin, and the nutrition breakdown is pretty abysmal. 

Per 1/10 of the package: 160 cal, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 340mg sodium, 35g carb (1g fiber, 18g sugar), 2g protein

First of all, no one is eating just 1/10 of the package, and food manufacturers know this. More realistically, a consumer will eat this cake in 4-5 serving increments, which means they’re more likely to have a serving with 70g carbs (36g sugar). The cake mix nutrition numbers also don’t include the other added ingredients necessary to make this cake (eggs and oil), which can also impact the nutrient profile. Let’s be honest, this cake just can’t be saved. 

Another important thing to note is that while it did not make it onto the nutrition label, partially hydrogenated oil is a trans fat, which does nothing for supporting your health.

A better option you can choose: Nom Nom Paleo Pumpkin Mug Cake

This recipe is for a single serving (which usually is a better self-limiting option), but you can double or triple the recipe to make a whole cake. 

Ben & Jerry’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream

Courtesy of Instacart

I personally love ice cream (and fun things in general), however, this ice cream is just a heart attack waiting to happen. There’s a better way to get your fix!

Per ⅔ cup: 350 cal, 20g fat (10g saturated fat, .5g trans fat), 190mg sodium, 40g carbs (0g fiber, 34g sugar), 5g protein

This particular pint of ice cream says that there are 3 servings in the container. Who is eating a pint of ice cream in 3 sittings?! I can see splitting it into maybe 2 servings in a regular household, but that’s it. Per serving, you are already eating 34g sugar with 20g fat (mostly from saturated fat). I’m not here to demonize saturated fat, I actually think it’s an important part of your diet. However, when it is paired with a high serving of sugar, there is a problem. 

A better option you can choose: DIY Pumpkin Frozen Yogurt

This recipe is simple, and you can even add some cheesecake if you really need it (you don’t, it’s delicious on its own).

Nature’s Path Organic Frosted Pumpkin Pie Flavored Toaster Pastries

Courtesy of Target

These pastries are a great example of greenwashing, or making an unhealthy product look healthy with packaging and buzzwords. Anyone would pick up these Nature’s Path Toaster Pastries and think, “this has to be healthier than PopTarts!” Sadly, that’s not the case. 

Per 2 pastries: 400 cal, 8g fat (4g saturated fat), 250mg sodium, 76g carbs (2g fiber, 36g sugar), 6g protein

This is the first serving size that actually does make sense, because I would venture to guess we’re all eating both of those pastries if they come in the package together. However, don’t let the “Organic” and “Natural” claims on the label fool you — sugar is sugar, and this fall-flavored treat is basically made of nothing else.

A better option you can choose: Pumpkin Protein Bites

Make these ahead of time, and grab ‘em from the fridge when you need a quick fall-flavored snack. 

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