It’s finally autumn. The leaves are turning, the air is crisp, and comfort foods are beginning to appear in restaurants and at home. When it comes to fall foods, though, you’ll want to be careful about what you choose. A lot of these delicious foods are packed full of unhealthy ingredients. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the foods you should avoid, and some great alternatives to eat instead.
1. Pecan Pie. Pecan Pie may be delicious, but it’s a whopping 440 calories per slice. Combine that with the fact that it’s chock full of saturated fat, and you’ll want to avoid eating this treat on a regular basis.
What you should eat instead: Try a delicious slice of pumpkin pie instead. Each slice is only 260 calories, which is a lot better than pecan pie or apple pie. And while you should still only treat pie as a rare treat, it’s certainly a lot better for you than the alternative.
2. Pumpkin Spice Latte. While it may satisfy your craving for a hot, pumpkin-flavored drink, a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks is chock full of calories. A standard, 16 oz. latte is made up of 380 calories, 13 g of fat with 8 g of saturated fat, and 49 g of sugar. That’s a bit like drinking a mini meal.
What you should drink instead: Instead of getting the standard order at Starbucks, modify the latte a bit. Ask for nonfat milk instead of regular milk, hold the whipped cream, and ask for just one pump of syrup instead of the standard four for a 16 oz. drink. That will cut off 150 calories, making the drink just 230 calories instead of 380.
3. Cream-Based Soups. When it starts getting cold outside, then you may be tempted to reach for a creamy soup. But while some soups can be healthy, there are others that are less than good for you. Just one cup of clam chowder can have 163 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 1,144 milligrams for sodium.
What you should eat instead: Instead of a cream-based soup, opt for a soup with a clearer broth, like vegetable. That will help you cut down on the amount of fat and calories you’re eating per cup of coup.
4. Mixed Nuts. Nuts can be good for you with all of the protein and nutrients packed into each bite. However, certain prepared nuts can have a ton of calories—even in a small handful. In fact, just ¼ cup of Planters mixed nuts nets you 340 calories. Combine that with the salt on top and you’re looking at a full meal rather than a snack.
What you should eat instead: Pumpkin seeds are a delicious alternative to nuts. Delicious and nutritious, these seeds can boost your fiber intake and provide you with a great, low-calorie snack to munch on.
5. Chocolate. Whether you grab some chocolate for a snack or because of a holiday, it’s important to keep in mind just how much you eat—and what type of chocolate you eat. Grabbing a bar of milk chocolate on a regular basis will quickly work against your diet goals.
What you should eat instead: Take a small piece of dark chocolate to satisfy your chocolate craving. Dark chocolate has more calories than milk chocolate, but it also contains more fiber and has half the sugar. Remember to drink water so that you’re not mistaking dehydration for hunger, as well.