Pumpkin Everything: What to Pick and What to Nix

With everything pumpkin flavored out there, we asked a nutritionist for help

Opt for healthy pumpkin products, such as pumpkin oatmeal, to give you a healthy dose of pumpkin.

Instead of colorful leaves, warm mittens, and cozy fires, pumpkin has become the new symbol of the fall and holiday seasons. With the holidays approaching, it’s easy to get lost in the delicious, comforting, pumpkin-flavored foods we know and love.

Click here for 12 Surprising Pumpkin Dinner Recipes slideshow.

There’s nothing wrong with pumpkin; in fact, pumpkin is filled with vitamins and minerals, such as beta-carotene, that provide the body vitamin A to protect eyesight. The health benefits of pumpkin exist in the natural, pure form, but when it is processed and combined with additives, it is no longer as healthy as it once was.

We spoke with Amanda Foti, registered dietitian from Selvera Wellness, about which pumpkin products we should eat and which pumpkin products we should avoid.

“As the colder months approach it's not uncommon that individual's put on a few extra unwanted pounds thanks to the holidays, comfort food, and moving less,” Foti said. “Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine is important year round but may need a little extra attention during the fall and winter months.”

Foti recommends swapping your favorite pumpkin products with products that are healthier and just as delicious:

Nix pumpkin muffins and pick hearty oatmeal with pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie spice.

Nix pumpkin soup and pick pumpkin chili.

Nix pumpkin spice latte and pick a post-workout pumpkin pie smoothie.

Nix pumpkin pancakes and pick pumpkin protein muffins.

Nix pumpkin cream cheese and pick pumpkin hummus.

Nix pumpkin pie and pick Greek yogurt with pumpkin purée.

Nix pumpkin ravioli and pick pumpkin sauce on zoodles.