How To Buy A Healthy Holiday Pie

Thanksgiving and the holidays wouldn’t be the same without the traditional spread of pies: pumpkin, apple, pecan and key lime -each one more delicious than the next.  

Baking a pie isn’t that difficult, but if baking feels like a hassle it’s sometimes easier to visit a local bakery or market to pick up your favorite pie for your holiday feast.


When buying a pie there are a few tips to keep in mind to make your pie choice the healthiest it can possibly be.

  • Steer clear of long ingredient lists-try to find pies with simple, easy to read ingredient lists.  The longer the list, the more processed the pie and the more likely the pie contains hidden, unhealthy ingredients.
  • Don’t buy pies with unrecognizable ingredients. If there is an ingredient that you can’t pronounce don’t buy the pie.
  • Avoid added sugars– sugar can be hidden on many labels.  Look for the words “syrup”, “sweetener”, and anything ending in “ose”-these can usually be assumed to be “sugar”. Try to avoid any added processed or fake sugars. High fructose corn syrup is one form of sugar to avoid altogether. It interferes with the body’s metabolism so that a person has a hard time controlling their food intake. That’s why it’s so closely associated with obesity in this country.
  • Avoid transfats-it is mostly a man-made fat which raises your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and lowers your “good” (HDL) cholesterol.  This increases your risk of heart disease, the leading killer of men and women.
  • Say no to food coloring– Synthetic food colors have been linked to allergies, asthma, hyperactivity and even cancer. Dyes serve no purpose in pies or any other food  other than marketing.

Before buying the pie make sure you read the ingredient list carefully.  It’s important to remember that not every store-bought pie is equal.

Do you bake your own pies or buy them?[Photo used under Creative Commons from Civilletomorrow/Flickr]