If you are watching what you eat, a holiday dessert buffet filled with pies can be a disaster waiting to happen. But the holidays are a time to indulge, so if you are going to satisfy your sweet tooth, you should know which holiday pies are the healthiest for you. Nutritionist Keri Glassman in New York City gave us insight into which choices to make.
In terms of fat and calories, pumpkin pie reigns supreme as the best choice you can make. One slice (1/8 of a 9-inch pie) contains about 260 calories and 10 grams of fat. Followed by that is a piece of apple crisp; ½ a cup is 227 calories and only has 5 grams of fat. The next healthiest may be a surprise to some, but a slice of chocolate mousse pie weighs in at 247 calories and 15 grams of fat.
In terms of nutritional benefits, pumpkin pie wins again. One slice delivers about 250 percent of your daily value of vitamin A, which is important for maintaining eye, bone, and skin health. It also gives you 10 percent of your daily value of calcium, and about 2 grams of fiber per serving. However, apple pie is a close second. It also has about 2 grams of fiber per serving, but the added bonus is that apples contain the soluble fiber pectin, which helps lower cholesterol. Apples also pack the antioxidant power of flavonoids, which are linked to heart and lung health. Blueberry pie is another healthy choice when considering the nutritional benefits to your body. Both fresh and frozen blueberries are packed with antioxidants including anthocyanins that can improve brain function, control inflammation, and protect cells from oxidative stress. They can also help slow the effects of aging by reducing wrinkles and making hair shiny and nails strong.
It’s also important to note that any fruit pie that uses fresh fruit will offer some nutrients, including vitamins that act as antioxidants. If you are really looking for nutritional value, you can turn your fruit pies into a crisp (think apple or berry crisp) and use oats as a topping for the crunch. Doing this not only knocks out the fat and calories of a traditional crust but adds fiber, which is linked to heart health, lower cholesterol, weight maintenance, and lots of other health benefits.
So this Thanksgiving, when you reach for the pie, eschew the pecan pie and stick with vegetable- and fruit-based desserts for the healthiest options.