It's hard to escape pumpkin-spice-everything this time of year, but if you're on a low-carb diet, you may be wondering just how those Fall-flavored treats fit into your plan. "I'd place pumpkin in the moderate carb category," Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, an author, registered dietitian, and nutrition partner of the National Honey Board, told POPSUGAR.
"One half cup of pumpkin puree contains 10 grams of carbs, which is well within the average 50 to 100 grams of net carbs per day allowed on a low-carb diet," she explained. Sweet potatoes, for example, would be on the higher end with 31 grams of carbs in a one-half cup serving, while a nonstarchy vegetable like broccoli has only 3 grams of carbs per one-half cup of chopped florets.
Still, you need to be mindful of how much pumpkin you're eating in order to stay within your daily allowance for carbs. "Focus on portion control, but don't deprive yourself," Dana said. You can enjoy your favorite pumpkin dishes, snacks, and drinks, but you have to do the work to calculate how they fit within your goals. Dana also recommends making homemade versions of pumpkin foods, which can save a lot of carbs and calories. (Try starting with this healthy pumpkin soup, which only has 15 grams of carbs per serving.)
You can even indulge in your daily pumpkin spice latte, as long as you follow Dana's advice. To make a barista-worthy PSL, she recommends whisking together coffee, a heated milk of your choice with a few tablespoons of pumpkin puree, a spoonful of honey, and a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (if you're keto, you'll love this butter coffee version). It's shaping up to be a pretty flavorful Fall.