It’s the spookiest time of the year – Halloween has well and truly arrived. Known as one of the most naughtiest of holidays for slimmers in the year most weight loss fanatics are struggling with their sweet tooth. So what food quenches the sweet tooth without affecting the diet? There is a surprising food to eat this Halloween.
Dieting can be a difficult journey, especially with the holidays centered around sweet treats and indulgence. So what can you do to quench that sweet tooth?
There’s no question about it, one of the most beloved parts of autumn as the leaves get darker and the days get longer, is the indulgence of a sweet pumpkin flavoured treat passed around the office.
From Jack-o’-lanterns to pumpkin spice lattes, it’s the most spookiest time of the year. While many dishes are sugar-laden such as pumpkin pie, not all fall produce has an unhealthy reputation.
However, experts say that pumpkins can actually be a part of a healthy diet and even help you with your weight-loss goal – if eaten the right way.
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How can pumpkins help you lose weight?
A fresh pumpkin on its own is known to be full of vitamins and minerals.
Considering the large size of most pumpkins, surprisingly they are extremely low in calories.
According to Nutrition Value, one cup of mashed, cooked pumpkin with salt contains only 44 calories.
Pumpkins are also a wonderful source for fibre, which has been proven to be beneficial for weight loss in several studies. One cooked cup of cooked fresh pumpkin boasts nearly three grams of fibre.
A serving of canned pumpkin can include up to seven grams of the “good stuff”.
Registered dietitian, Megan Ware, RDN suggests that you should consume between 25 and 35 grams of fibre per day.
However, many struggle to meet the quota. Pumpkins might be a delicious and nutritious way to help you get enough fibre into your diet with minimal effort.
Pumpkins also contain vitamin A, C and potassium. When these nutrients all work in harmony with the fibre, it benefits your waistline but also the ability to fight off potential health issues this chilly autumn.
According to chef Anthony Stewart: “Pumpkins are a great source of Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Thiamin.
“They’re also rich in minerals like iron and potassium because they grow in the ground, allowing them to absorb minerals from the earth.”
In fact, each part of the pumpkin, from its golden-orange flesh to its seeds, has nutritional value.
One thing you can do quench cravings is turn the pumpkin seeds into a snack by oven baking them. After all, they are filled with protein and are a great source of omega-3-fatty acids.
Whilst, the soft naturally sweet inner flesh of the pumpkin is rich in not only vitamins and minerals but also antioxidants and dietary fibre.
Pumpkins are very low in harmful things such as diary cholesterol, saturated fat and salt, making them the perfect Halloween snack.
How to cook a pumpkin
Once you’ve picked out the perfect pumpkin, be it from your local pumpkin patch or supermarket, its time to get cooking.
Contrary to popular belief, the pumpkin is good for more than just a spooky jack-o’-lantern decorating your front door or a pumpkin pie (which is full of sugar).
In fact, there are hundreds of creative and nutritious recipes online that are low in calorie density, easy to prepare and boosts weight loss.
According to Pritkin, longevity centre and spa, you should do the following steps in order to prepare a delicious pumpkin flavoured treat this Halloween.
“Use a vegetable brush to wash the outside of your pumpkin. Cut the gourd in hand and scrape out the fibres and seeds with a spoon.
“Save, rinse, and dry seeds if planning to use them later. Cut pumpkin halves into smaller chunks. Place them skin side up in a shallow baking dish.
“Add a little bit of water to coat the bottom of baking dish. Cover tightly. Bake in the oven at 170 degrees celsius, until pumpkin is tender with a touch of the fork.”
Remember to adjust cooking time depending on the size and thickness of a pumpkin and once cooked allow the pieces to cool then cut off the peel or scoop out flesh.