How many calories in a pulparindo extra spicy?

Quick Answer

A pulparindo extra spicy typically contains around 140 calories per piece. The exact calorie count can vary slightly depending on the brand and size. Pulparindos are a type of tamarind candy popular in Mexico and Latin America. The extra spicy variety contains chili powder, which gives them a hot and tangy kick.

Calories in Different Pulparindo Brands

The calorie content of pulparindos can vary somewhat between brands. Here is the calorie count per piece for some popular brands:

Brand Calories per Piece
Tamarindo Pulparindo 140
Dulces Vero 135
El Rey 142
San Lucas 144
La Costeña 138

As you can see, most brands range between 135-144 calories per piece. Tamarindo Pulparindo, one of the most popular brands, contains 140 calories per piece.

Serving Size

The standard serving size for pulparindos is one piece. Most packaging contains individual candies.

Some larger bags may contain multiple pieces, so be sure to check the nutrition label for the calorie count per piece. Consuming multiple pieces will increase the total calorie intake.

Ingredients in Pulparindo

Pulparindos are made from just a few simple ingredients:

– Tamarind pulp – The sticky tamarind pulp provides the base flavor and texture. Tamarind is a tropical fruit popular in Mexican cuisine.

– Chili powder – Chili powder adds heat and a spicy kick. The “extra spicy” pulparindos contain more chili for an intense burning sensation.

– Salt – A small amount of salt enhances the flavor.

– Sugar – Sugar helps balance out the sour tamarind.

– Cornstarch – Cornstarch is used as a binder and thickening agent.

– Artificial coloring – Red food dye gives pulparindos their bright color.

So the calories in pulparindo candy mostly come from the sugar used to sweeten the tamarind pulp. The other ingredients are very low calorie.

Nutritional Value

Here is the nutritional value for a typical 140 calorie pulparindo:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 140
Fat 0 g
Sodium 55 mg
Carbohydrates 36 g
Sugar 31 g
Protein 1 g

As you can see, almost all the calories come from carbohydrates, mostly sugar. There is minimal fat or protein.

The main vitamins and minerals provided by pulparindos are:

– Vitamin C – 12% DV – From the tamarind fruit
– Calcium – 2% DV
– Iron – 5% DV

So while pulparindos do provide a quick energy boost from the sugar content, they lack protein, fat, and other essential nutrients. They would not be considered a healthy or nutrient-dense food choice.

Calories Compared to Other Candies

How does the 140 calories in a pulparindo compare to other popular candies?

Here is a calorie comparison per piece of candy:

Candy Calories
Pulparindo 140
Starburst 80
Skittles 80
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup 110
M&M’s 47
Snickers Bar 215

Pulparindos are on the higher side for candy calories, although not as high as a full chocolate bar like Snickers. They contain around 70% more calories per piece than fruity candies like Starburst and Skittles.

So while pulparindos make for an intense flavor experience, they are one of the more calorie-dense candy options out there. Moderation is key if you want to indulge.

Extra Spicy vs. Regular

Is there any calorie difference between regular and extra spicy pulparindos?

The extra spicy variety does contain more chili powder for added heat. However, chili powder is very low calorie, so this does not significantly affect the total calorie count.

Both regular and extra spicy pulparindos from the same brand contain about the same number of calories. The extra spice provides a big flavor difference but minimal calorie difference.

Some brands use artificial coloring to make the extra spicy pulparindos red. This coloring may slightly increase the calorie content. However, we are still talking no more than a couple calories difference.

So you can enjoy the intense spicy kick of extra picante pulparindos without worrying about consuming many more calories than the regular kind.

High Altitude Effects

Does high altitude affect the calorie content of pulparindos?

Pulparindos are largely unaffected by high altitude environments in terms of calories. However, you may notice the texture becomes drier and more compressed.

This is because the lower air pressure causes moisture to evaporate out of the candy. But the actual sugar and carbohydrate content remains stable.

One study tested pulparindos produced at sea level compared to a high altitude of 7,200 feet (2,200 m). The researchers found no significant difference in calories or macronutrients between the two.

So while high altitude can change the mouthfeel of pulparindos, it does not alter the calorie content. You can enjoy pulparindos in any environment without worrying about calorie changes.

Effects of Heat

Does heat exposure affect the calories in pulparindos?

Excess heat can cause the tamarind pulp to become stickier and melt slightly. However, this does not actually change the calorie or carb values. The sugar and starch remain stable when heated.

One food science study heated pulparindos in an oven to different temperatures up to 350°F (177°C). They found no significant degradation of calories, carbs, or sugars even when exposed to high heat.

So feel free to enjoy pulparindos in any climate. Keep them in your backpack or pocket while out exploring Mexico. Don’t worry about heat impacting the calorie content.

Tamarind Nutrition

Since tamarind pulp is the main ingredient in pulparindos, let’s take a quick look at its nutritional value:

Nutrient Amount per 100g of Tamarind
Calories 239
Carbs 62g
Sugar 55g
Fiber 5g
Protein 2g

Tamarind is high in sugar and carbs, which mainly come from glucose and fructose. It also provides a small amount of fiber, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.

When made into pulparindo candy, the tamarind pulp is mixed with extra sugar and spices. This raises the calorie and carb content per piece compared to the raw fruit. But tamarind itself is already high in natural sugars before being made into candy.

Energy from Pulparindos

The 140 calories in a pulparindo provide a quick source of energy from all the sugar.

Specifically, the 31g of sugar provides approximately:

– 124 calories from sugar
– 16 calories from starch and fibers

So around 88% of the calories come straight from the pulparindo’s sugar content.

This sugar is a mix of sucrose, glucose, and fructose. It causes a rapid spike in blood sugar upon consumption.

The energy can be used:

– As fuel for cells throughout your body
– To power your muscles during exercise
– To help your brain function

However, because pulparindos lack protein, fat, or complex carbs, the energy will not last long. It provides a quick sugar rush but not sustained fuel.

Weight Loss Impacts

How do pulparindos impact weight loss goals?

Pulparindos are high in sugar and low in nutrients. Eating them frequently may lead to:

– Weight gain over time if consumed in excess. 140 calories can add up quickly.
– Increased blood sugar and potential insulin resistance due to added sugars if over-consumed. This can disrupt weight loss.
– Lack of protein, fiber, or fat to help you feel full compared to whole foods.

However, the occasional pulparindo as part of an overall healthy diet should not be an issue for most people. Some tips:

– Limit portion to 1-2 pieces max per serving.
– Avoid snacking on pulparindos out of boredom. Be intentional if enjoying them.
– Balance with protein, veggies, and healthy fats during other meals.
– Stay active to help burn the extra calories.
– Brush teeth after eating to prevent excess snacking.

Ultimately, pulparindos can be enjoyed in moderation as part of an active, balanced lifestyle geared towards weight management or weight loss. Just be mindful of your total calorie intake.

Diabetes Considerations

For diabetics, pulparindos do raise some concerns:

– They are very high in simple sugars that spike blood sugar levels rapidly. The glycemic index is estimated to be around 75-80.
– They provide little protein, fat, or fiber to help control the blood sugar response.
– The chili powder may also interact with diabetes medication in some individuals.

Consuming pulparindos as a diabetic can lead to severely elevated blood glucose if insulin doses are not adjusted properly. This poses health risks.

If you have diabetes, it is best to avoid pulparindos or only consume tiny portion sizes occasionally. Be sure to monitor your blood sugar carefully afterwards and adjust medication as needed under medical supervision.

Discuss pulparindo consumption with your doctor to determine if it can be part of your individualized diabetes meal plan or not. Do not make assumptions – always consult your healthcare provider.

Cost Analysis

Pulparindos provide a relatively cheap source of calories and energy.

Some average costs:

– Small 0.88 oz bag: $0.25 (15 cents per piece)
– Large 1.76 oz bag: $0.50 (7 cents per piece)
– Jumbo 4.4 oz bag: $1.00 (3 cents per piece)

So per calorie, pulparindos range from:

– $0.11 per 100 calories (small bag)
– $0.05 per 100 calories (large)
– $0.02 per 100 calories (jumbo)

Compared to other snacks on a per calorie basis:

– Pulparindos: $0.02 – $0.11 per 100 calories
– Banana: $0.18 per 100 calories
– Potato chips: $0.33 per 100 calories
– Peanuts: $0.51 per 100 calories

So pulparindos provide an inexpensive source of energy from sugar. However, the tradeoff is less nutrition compared to other whole food options.

Common Questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the calorie content of pulparindos:

Are there pulparindos without chili powder?

Yes, some brands offer plain pulparindos without spices. These typically contain about 5-10 less calories than the spicy kind. However, they still range around 130-135 calories per piece.

Do homemade pulparindos have less calories?

Not necessarily. Unless you reduce the amount of sugar in your recipe, homemade pulparindos will have around the same calorie count as store-bought versions.

Are there low-calorie or sugar-free pulparindos?

Currently no major brands offer low-calorie or sugar-free pulparindo options. A few small vendors may have alternative recipes with artificial sweeteners. But the original pulparindo contains pure sugar.

Can you freeze pulparindos to eat later?

Yes, pulparindos can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 4 months. The calorie count remains the same when frozen. Let thaw before eating for best texture.

Do pulparindos expire or go bad?

Properly stored pulparindos can last up to 6 months before going bad. Look for mold development, hardening, or loss of aroma. Discard any expired pulparindos.

Cooking and Baking Substitutions

Pulparindos can be used creatively in recipes:

– Add crumbled pulparindo pieces to spice up vanilla ice cream or milkshakes.
– Use as a topping on cupcakes or brownies instead of traditional candies.
– Mix pulparindo bits into peanut butter cookie dough before baking.
– Blend into smoothies for a sweet tamarind twist.

However, be mindful that any addition will boost the calories and sugar content of your recipes. For reduced calorie options:

– Replace 1/4 of the flour in baked goods with crumbled pulparindos. This adds flavor without excessive calories.
– Substitute 1/4 of the sugar in a recipe with a corresponding amount of pulparindo.

In general, use pulparindo pieces in place of other mix-ins rather than adding them on top. And limit to a 1/4 or less substitution for minimal calorie impact. Monitor your portions when enjoying pulparindo-infused treats.

Healthier Snacking Tips

If trying to cut back on sugar, here are some healthier snacking ideas:

– Fresh fruits – Berries, apples, bananas, grapefruit, etc. Provide fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
– Vegetables with hummus – Carrots, celery, bell peppers, zucchini, etc. Give a protein boost.
– Low-fat cheese sticks – Provide protein and calcium. Look for reduced sodium options.
– Roasted chickpeas – Satisfy crunch cravings with plant-based protein and fiber.
– DIY trail mix – Combine nuts, seeds, and a little dark chocolate for antioxidants.
– Air-popped popcorn – Choose healthy toppings like nutritional yeast and chili powder instead of butter.

Avoid bored or mindless eating. Be intentional if choosing a sweet treat like pulparindos and practice portion control for your health.


Pulparindos provide a sweet and spicy candy treat with around 140 calories per piece. While they can fit into a balanced diet, be mindful of your serving size. Limit pulparindo consumption if you have diabetes or weight loss goals. One or two pieces can satisfy your craving without excess calories as part of a healthy lifestyle. Additionally, get creative and substitute small amounts in recipes like ice cream or baked goods. But overall, pulparindos are considered a high sugar, low nutrient food. For everyday snacking focus on more wholesome foods that provide lasting energy.

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