Not necessarily. Fresh foods generally have a higher nutrient content than do cooked or canned foods. But in this case, both fresh pumpkin and canned pumpkin are packed with nutrients, such as potassium, vitamin A and iron.
If you want to use fresh pumpkin, look for pumpkins without blemishes that are firm and heavy for their size. Whole pumpkins can be stored in a cool dark place for up to two months. If you use fresh pumpkin for bread, soup, pie or other recipes, don't throw away the seeds. You can bake them for a wholesome, crispy snack.
If you're looking for convenience, canned pumpkin without salt is a healthy alternative. Just check the Nutrition Facts label on the can so that you know what you're getting. Canned pumpkin products may be labeled as "pumpkin," "100% pumpkin" or "pumpkin pie mix." Canned pumpkin pie mix — which some recipes call for — can be much higher in calories than regular canned pumpkin.
Oct. 18, 2011
- Pumpkin. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search. Accessed Aug. 10, 2011.
- Pumpkin pie mix, canned. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 23. U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search. Accessed Aug. 10, 2011.
- Don't just carve that pumpkin, eat it. American Dietetic Association. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=3356&terms=pumpkin. Accessed Aug. 10, 2011.
- Pumpkin: Nutrition, selection, storage. Produce for Better Health Foundation. http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/?page_id=1361. Accessed Aug. 10, 2011.
- Zeratsky KA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 10, 2011.