As seasons change so do our diets and sometimes these changes can have a negative effect on our health. The fall season brings gorgeous, rich colored food to our diets, but some popular autumn foods that are delicious are also pack with calories that can have a negative impact on your diet, especially if you’re trying to watch your weight.
The “Limited Time Only” Fall Specialty Coffees
Seasonal drinks are offered at many coffee shops throughout the fall and winter seasons. Names such as “pumpkin spiced lattes” and “salted caramel mochas” may sound oh so delectable but they’re just as bad as all that junk food that we’ve been trying to cut out of our diets. Pumpkin spiced lattes, salted caramel mochas and other similar seasonal speciality beverages are full of fat, sugar and calories. According to www.starbucks.com , a 16oz pumpkin spiced latte has 380 calories (120 calories from fat) while a 16oz salted caramel mocha coffee is packed with 420 calories (140 calories from fat). If you just can’t resist and have to indulge in this junk food type beverage, it’s best to pick the smallest size available, skip the whole milk and skip the whip cream topping. This will help to cut back on the calories while still allowing you to splurge on this delicious treat.
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You may be tempted to reach for a cup of egg nog during the holiday season, but it’s just not worth all of the calories that you will consume in just one cup (which is upwards of 300 calories). Instead, pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea that packs far few calories and can still satisfy your craving for a hot, toasty beverage.
Apple and Pecan Pie
Apples are a healthy food that should be included in all diets, but not in the form of baked apple pie. Apple pies are generally baked in a buttery crust and are loaded with sugar and butter (and of course, calories!). According to about.com a slice of apple pie contains about 410 calories. Apples go from being a healthy food choice to a junk food choice when consumed as a piece of pie. And pecan pie is even worse, a piece of pecan pie can have up to 480 calories! If you’re craving junk food and want to satisfy this craving with a piece of pie, opt for a piece of pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie is much lighter on the calories, with a piece containing around 180 calories.
Mac and Cheese
This comfort food is a popular choice as it is quick and easy to make. The down side… it’s packed with calories. If you want to include this comfort food in your diet, use low fat cheese and whole wheat pasta. Also, if you opt for toppings, choose veggies instead of meat for a healthier meal.
Creamy Soups and Stews
These foods may sound delicious and nutritious but they are often packed with calories from cheese, meat and/or cream. As a healthier alternative, try home-made chicken noodle or vegetable soup that will warm you up and provide comfort during the cold, crisp fall and winter months.
Stuffing is a staple in the diets for many people at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it is packed with calories. According to about.com, ½ cup of stuffing can total around 180 calories and if you add toppings to your stuffing such as graving, the calorie count climbs even further. Opt for a healthier alternative such as butternut squash or baked sweet potatoes (minus the butter) as a side dish.
As it turns out, cutting out junk food from our diets may not be the only thing that is necessary to cut calories. Cutting out (or at least cutting back) on popular fall food and drink choices may be needed to keep our diets on track for optimal health.