Pumpkin purveyors have reason for grins as wide as those of jack-o’-lanterns this time of year. Pumpkin products are proliferating for autumn — and not just for standard pies, breads and Halloween décor, but also for whimsical goodies that may not live up to the pumpkin’s healthy reputation.
Pumpkin spice cake donuts, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin latte – some chocolate candy manufacturers are even offering pumpkin filling.
“All at a sudden, if you believe the sales pitch, the pumpkin is the happiest, healthiest food,” says Suzy Weems, Ph.D., registered dietitian and professor of nutrition sciences in Baylor University’s College of Health and Human Sciences.
But as is often the case with food, a balancing act is important, Weems says.
On the other hand, Weems cautions, be aware of pumpkin pitfalls.
Pumpkin snacks: “Are you really going to benefit from pumpkin-laced candy? It’s still candy,” Weems says. “Pumpkin seeds are good for making you feel full, but the fat doesn’t disappear when you roast and eat them.
All that aside, “pumpkin is delightful,” Weems says. “Just be sure to read the container or the wrapper to know the details.”
Weems has professional experience in wellness, weight management, diabetes care, eating disorders, cardiovascular health and sports nutrition. She is a consulting dietician for hospitals and extended-care facilities across Texas, as well as a former chair of the American Dietetic Association’s legislative and public policy committee and a past president of the Texas Dietetic Association.
Press release courtesy of Baylor University.