By Dave Zinczenko
Orange is the new black - on the hit Netflix series and in restaurants, where everyone's ordering something " pumpkin-flavored" to be part of the fall flavor craze. It started with pumpkin lattes at Starbucks, but this year we've seen pumpkin Pringles, pumpkin M&Ms, pumpkin Bagel Thins, Pumpkin Jello, pumpkin Hershey Kisses, pumpkin donuts …
It would be great if the big clamoring for pumpkin flavoring involved actual pumpkin, a rich source of fiber and vitamin A. But most of our "pumpkin-flavored" treats are actually monster mash-ups of calories, additives, fat and sugar. In researching my new book, " Eat It to Beat It!," I uncovered some shocking facts about how out of control some of our most popular foods have become, and how easy it is to eat healthy by just making some smart swaps.
As for this fall, well, I'd rather have the Headless Horseman throw an actual pumpkin at me than to try to hit me with one of these five "pumpkin" treats:
1) Dunkin' Donuts' Pumpkin Muffin
550 calories, 210 calories from fat, 24 g fat, 5 g of saturated fat, 480 mg sodium, 41 g sugar, 7 g protein
Unlike a lot of fall foods on offer, this muffin contains actual pumpkin. Unfortunately, it has as many calories as 74 pieces of candy corn.
If you're at Dunkin' Donuts and craving pumpkin, this is a moment when it's better to get the donut. The Pumpkin Pie donut has 170 fewer calories and 16 fewer grams of sugar.
(Dunkin' Donuts, Pumpkin Pie Donut. 380 calories, 20 g fat, 9 g sat fat, 380 mg sodium, 25 g sugar, 4 g protein)
2) Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte
(Venti, 2% milk w/ Whipped Cream)
470 calories, 15 g fat, 10 g sat fat, 280 mg sodium, 62 g sugar, 18 g protein
There is no pumpkin in the famous Pumpkin Spice Latte but there is as much saturated fat as 10 miniature Reese's cups. (Or 13 mini Snickers.) If you want your Halloween costume to look hottie, stay away from the latte.
Instead, go for the Grande Skinny Mocha. It's 140 calories with 1.5 grams of fat and only 1 gram of saturated fat, and 15 grams of sugar.
3) Jamba Juice Pumpkin Smash Smoothie
550 calories, 107 g of sugar
This smoothie has as much sugar as 34 Tootsie Rolls. And while you can order it in a "Make it Light" version, you're still getting 70 grams sugar - about two dozen Tootsie Rolls' worth.
Trash the Pumpkin Smash and choose the 12-ounce Orange Berry Antioxidant Juice Blend. It has 160 calories and only 28 grams of sugar.
Learn more about Dave's new book: Eat It to Beat It!: Banish Belly Fat-and Take Back Your Health-While Eating the Brand-Name Foods You Love!
"Our customers love all the ways they can customize their beverages just the way they like it. All Starbucks beverages containing milk are served with 2% milk as a standard (nonfat, soy and whole milk are available upon request). The Pumpkin Spice Latte is Starbucks most popular seasonal beverage of all time with more than 200 million sold since the beverage was introduced in 2003. A tall (12 ounce) Pumpkin Spice Latte is most commonly ordered and features Starbucks signature espresso blended with the unmistakable spices of fall - cinnamon, nutmeg and clove - creamy steamed milk, pumpkin-flavored sauce and topped with sweetened whipped cream - only 300 calories. You can also lighten it up by 100 calories when choosing nonfat milk and no whip. For more information, please visit www.starbucks.com."
"We are committed to offering our guests a wide range of product choices to fit any lifestyle and dietary preference. Our menu includes a full line of beverages, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, better-for-you items from our DDSMART menu, and treats such as donuts.
DDSMART includes many delicious food and beverages, such as Egg White Flatbread Sandwiches and Wake-up Wraps, Oatmeal, coffee and espresso beverages and teas. Some delicious and satisfying options that are under 400 calories include the Egg and Cheese Sandwich on an English Muffin (240 calories), the Egg White Turkey Sausage Flatbread (280 calories) and Original Oatmeal with Dried Fruit Topping (270 calories). The DDSMART menu will continue to be a focus as we look to expand our menu."
"The Pumpkin Smash Smoothie, made with real pumpkin, is available in the Make It Light version, with a 1/3 less calories, carbs and sugar than the original version. It is an excellent source of vitamin A. It is back by popular demand from our customers who crave the fall pumpkin flavor.
The Orange Berry Antioxidant is made with whole fruit: blueberries, raspberries and strawberries and blended with FRESH SQUEEZED orange juice to order. The 16oz size has 3.5 servings of fruits. It is high in Vitamin C, and is a convenient and delicious way to get the needed fruits in your diet.
We have worked closely with expert dietitians to create healthy options like the Orange Berry Antioxidant Juice Blend that provides 3.5 servings of fruits in each16-oz size, is 210 calories and has no added sugars, artificial flavors or preservatives.
At Jamba Juice we pride ourselves on providing a variety of better-for-you whole fruit smoothies and fresh squeezed juices. We understand the importance of a balanced diet and provide options to satisfy each individual customer.