November 6, 2012
Hidden (and not-so-hidden) Holiday Sugars

Many seasonal fall foods are powerhouses for great nutrition. For example, sweet potatoes and pumpkin are loaded with Vitamin A. But add sugar, flour, cream or butter and those nutrition superstars become quick and easy ways to pack on holiday pounds.  Here are a few examples of this falls’ “eat this not that”:

  • Starbuck’s Grande 2% Pumpkin Spice Latte with Whip: 380 calories, 13 g fat (8 of which are saturated fat), 51 g carbohydrates (49 grams of which are sugar) and 14 g protein.  That’s almost the same carb content as their Chonga Bagel (54 g carbs)!
    • Sip this instead: Starbucks Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte: 120 calories, 0 g fat, 19 g carbohydrates, 16 g sugar, 12 g protein.
    • Or try a drip coffee with 1 pump of pumpkin spice flavoring (vs. the 3-4 standard) and 1 inch of steamed non-fat milk for a lighter (and cheaper) spin on this beverage


  • Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream: per ½ cup has 250 calories, 10 g fat, 30 g carbohydrates, 28 g sugar, 3 g protein. Milk and cream beat out pumpkin on the “ingredients” list!
    • Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Greek Yogurt Nonfat: 190 calories, 29 g carbohydrate, 23 g sugar, 18 g protein
    • Or make your own! Mix 1 container non-fat Greek yogurt with ¼ cup canned pumpkin, 2 tbsp. Tru Whip, 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice and enjoy!


  • Starbuck’s Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin: 420 calories, 13 g fat (4.5 saturated), 71 grams carbohydrates (47 grams sugar!!), 6 g protein.
    • Try this (if you really desire something sweet & seasonal): Starbuck’s Apple Pie (petite): 180 calories, 7g fat, 27 g carbohydrates, 16 g sugar, 2 g protein.
    • Even better, try this! (Adapted from High Protein & Fiber Pumpkin Muffins recipe)
      • Ingredients
        • 7.5 oz. pure pumpkin, canned
        • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
        • ¼ cup liquid egg whites
        • 2 packets 2020 Vanilla Dry Protein Powder
        • ½  cups dry steel-cut oats
        • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
        • ½ tsp baking soda
        • 1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
        • 1 tsp ground cinnamo
      • Directions
        • Preheat oven to 350 F
        • Spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray
        • Mix wet ingredients (pumpkin-egg whites) in large bowl
        • Add dry ingredients one at a time (oats-cinnamon), mixing fully between each new ingredient
        o Note: add up to ¾ cup dry oats if needed to yield muffin batter consistency
        • Add mixture to muffin tins and bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through
        • Yields 8 servings
      • Nutrition information (per serving, with ½ cup oats): 85 calories, 0.5 g fat, 12.5 g carbohydrates, 7.5 g protein

Enjoy lighter options in your drinks, desserts and more for a lighter holiday season!

Written by Erika Brown

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