It’s fall — the leaves are changing, the temperatures are dropping, and every pumpkin spice product known to man is out on the shelves. Whether you love or hate this iconic flavor, one thing’s for sure — most companies are jumping on the bandwagon. And while pumpkin itself has plenty of health benefits, those pumpkin spice potato chips, cookies, and coffee concoctions are expanding your waistline.
Unsure of which flavored products you should stay away from at all costs? This should give you some idea.
1. Pumpkin Spice Milano cookies
Who doesn’t love a Milano? This classic Pepperidge Farm cookie is typically just a thin layer of chocolate sandwiched between two biscuits, but they turn things up a notch with the pumpkin spice flavoring. We’re sorry to tell you, but these innocent-looking cookies pack a serious fat and sugar punch. Just eating two comes to 130 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 10 grams of sugar. And if you’re a pumpkin spice lover like the rest of us, we can guarantee you’ll be eating more than that.
2. Pumpkin Spice Coffeemate creamer
Who needs Starbucks’ selection when you can have your very own pumpkin-tastic coffee beverage with Coffeemate’s creamer? If you’re watching your waistline this season, however, you’ll really want to skip this diet disaster. In just 1 measly tablespoon of this pumpkin spice creamer, there’s 1.5 grams of fat and 5 grams of sugar. This isn’t so bad if you stick to the standard serving size, but it’s easy to pour in at least three times that amount. Yikes.
3. Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Donut
You know donuts aren’t good for you, but the occasional treat here and there isn’t so bad. You might want to skip these and have homemade apple cider donuts instead, though. In just one donut, you’ll be eating 360 calories and 21 grams of fat, 10 of which are saturated. And the madness doesn’t stop there — there’s also 20 grams of sugar packed in. If your heart’s set on a fancy seasonal dessert from Dunkin’, go for the Ghoulish Glazed or Vampire’s Delight donuts instead.
4. Panera Pumpkin Pie Bagel
Panera is a favorite breakfast and lunch spot for many, but do your body a favor and skip the Pumpkin Pie Bagel. This seasonal favorite is nearly 400 calories as it is — and that’s without the slathering of cream cheese, which can easily turn this into a 600 calorie meal. Calories aside, this bagel also has 26 grams of sugar. Not even its 10 grams of protein can make up for the rest of its nutritional content.
5. Panera Pumpkin Spice Latte
Sorry Panera, but the atrocious nature of this pumpkin spice product can’t be left out. It’s so bad for you, in fact, that we recommend you head to Starbucks for their Pumpkin Spice Latte instead. Complete with espresso, foamed milk, whipped cream, and salted caramel syrup, just one of these drinks contains 450 calories, 11 grams of fat, and 53 grams of sugar. Just go for a regular cappuccino instead — or at the very least, hold the syrup and whipped cream.
6. Pumpkin Pie Larabars
On the surface, these don’t look so bad. They only contain eight all-natural ingredients, which is a lot better than what you’ll see in other pumpkin spice products. But if you’re looking for a good on-the-go bar to eat this fall, you’ll want to skip this one. In one bar, you’ll get 190 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 17 grams of sugar. And though it gives the appearance of a good protein bar, it only contains 4 grams of this macronutrient.
7. Pumpkin Pie Halo Top
Here’s another “health” food that the fitness and diet communities are all over. In case you’re unfamiliar, Halo Top is a frozen dessert that tastes just like ice cream, minus the sugar and calories. It sounds amazing and tastes pretty good too, and the Pumpkin Pie flavor certainly doesn’t disappoint. But there’s a lot of controversy surrounding its use of sugar alcohols as a sweetening agent, which New York Post notes can cause diarrhea and headaches. And the company also supports the idea of eating the entire pint (hello more sales) since it’s so low in calories, which can be a problem later when you indulge in real ice cream.