What Makes Costco's Pumpkin Pie So Concerning

Is there anything more perfect to bring to Thanksgiving dinner than a Costco pumpkin pie? This fragrant, flavorful dessert has been a Costco tradition since 1987, and since it's a generous 12 inches in diameter and four pounds in weight, you can almost bank on a breakfast of pumpkin pie leftovers to fuel you up for some vigorous Black Friday shopping the next morning (via Insider). Since it's so delicious — and so cheap, at only $5.99 — it might be tempting to indulge on Costco's pumpkin pie on occasions other than Thanksgiving. This is not a very good idea, though, warned nutritionist Serena Poon

In an interview with Mashed, she explained why that giant Costco pumpkin pie is also a giant calorie bomb.

Costco's pumpkin pie has more sugar than you might realize

"As much as some of us like to occasionally indulge on a piece of Costco pumpkin pie, I would encourage everyone to stay mindful and educated about your options, as you might be surprised by its nutritional makeup," Poon advised. "One slice of Costco pumpkin pie contains 320 calories; the entire pie contains 3,840 calories, which is almost double the recommended calorie intake for an adult woman." 

The icing on the cake — or the whipped cream on the pie, in this case — is the sugar content, at 31 grams, Poon noted. "The ingredient that raises a red flag for me here is the sugar. One slice of pumpkin pie would deliver almost as much or more of your daily recommended intake."

If you love pumpkin pie, consider making your own

Poon also pointed out that Costco pumpkin pie has troubling amounts of fat and carbohydrates, and is baked to the brim with "processed ingredients, such as canola oil, corn syrup and mono and diglycerides," she said (via Tasting Spoons). Still, if Costco pumpkin pie is your holiday dinner tradition, Poon isn't going to knock it. "If you are just eating one slice on a special day, it is doubtful that any of these items would adversely affect your overall health greatly, though the high sugar content might skew your energy levels and sleep patterns that day," she conceded.

If you drool just thinking about pumpkin pie, though, it doesn't have to be a once-a-year occasion. "If you are looking for a healthier option, consider making your own pumpkin pie at home! When you cook at home, you have the opportunity to select your own ingredients and you can infuse your treat with love and appreciation," Poon said. "More than ever, there is an abundance of healthy pumpkin pie recipes available online, including vegan and gluten-free options."