Which Pie Is Healthier: Apple or Pumpkin?

You know which pie you prefer, but is apple pie healthier than pumpkin pie? We break it down, slice by slice.

Brown Butter Apple Pie

Thanksgiving pie is arguably most people's favorite part of the meal: if it's Thanksgiving, there must be pie. And let's be clear, there is no need to deprive yourself of your favorite dessert in the name of "eating healthy" on a holiday. Enjoy your pie, pumpkin or apple, and know that one day a year is not make or break in a healthy eating pattern. All foods fit in moderation.

That said, you may be wondering if one pie has a nutritional leg up on another. Is apple the healthier choice? Or does pumpkin pie reign supreme? And are there any difference between the calories in pumpkin pie or apple pie? Here's what we found when we looked at the two side-by-side.

Apple Pie

Cinnamon Swirl Apple Pie

Pictured Recipe: Cinnamon Swirl Apple Pie

Let's start with apple pie. It's made from fruit, so it must be good for you... right? While apples are quite healthy—they're loaded with fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants—coating them with sugar and dumping them in a buttery crust does change things a bit. Plus, apple pies normally come with double crusts, which means more calories.

Pumpkin Pie

Traditional Pumpkin Pie

As for pumpkin pie, here we start with a vegetable (yay!). The pumpkin delivers fiber and, like all orange foods, pumpkins are packed with carotenoids, which can help tackle free radicals and decrease inflammation. Of course, to turn that vegetable into pie, we add sugar and a crust, so the pumpkin's not quite as pure as it was in its original vegetable state.

Which Pie Is Healthier: Apple or Pumpkin?

raw Pie dough in a pie pan

Pictured Recipe: Butter Pastry Dough

The nutrition will vary depending on which pie you make, but here's the breakdown comparing our Deep-Dish Apple Pie and our Holiday Pumpkin Pie:

Apple Pie:

One serving of our Deep-Dish Apple Pie has the following nutrition:

  • 345 calories
  • 10 g fat
  • 4 g sat
  • 5 g fiber
  • 62 g carbohydrates
  • 4 g protein
  • 33 g sugars
  • 17 g added sugars
  • 147 mg sodium
  • 213 mg potassium.

Pumpkin Pie:

One serving of our Holiday Pumpkin Pie has the following nutrition:

  • 292 calories
  • 9 g fat
  • 3 g sat
  • 3 g fiber
  • 42 g carbohydrates
  • 7 g protein
  • 26 g sugars
  • 22 g added sugars
  • 174 mg sodium
  • 482 mg potassium.

In the pumpkin pie, calories and saturated fat are lower while protein and calcium are higher. But the apple pie takes the cake when it comes to fiber, sugar (both total and added) and sodium. So what's a pie aficionado to do? Well, if you're watching calories go for the pumpkin—it almost always has fewer because of the single crust. You could also get crazy and take a sliver of both pies. The bottom line is: feel free to make or enjoy your favorite pie, savor it and don't go overboard. A holiday is one day out of the year and won't make or break a healthy eating pattern.

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