The first thing that most people think of besides ugly Christmas sweaters when they think of Holiday parties is usually food. With work parties, family get-togethers, and parties with friends, there are a lot of opportunities during the Holidays to gain weight, which is often referred to as the "Festive Fifteen". With all the options spread out in front of us at a potluck, counting calories is the last thing on most of our minds. Luckily, there are certain Holiday foods that, even though they may not be the best diet foods, can still help you to lose weight. Here is a list of 10 foods to avoid during the holidays, and 10 of the healthiest holiday foods:
Foods to Avoid:
- Eggnog. With around 250 calories and 5g of saturated fat per serving, eggnog is definitely a holiday beverage to steer clear from.
- Dips. Present on almost every appetizer table, dips are usually full of saturated fat and sodium, not to mention the chips and crackers you use for dipping.
- Mashed Potatoes. Usually prepared with whole milk, heavy cream, or cream cheese; mashed potatoes are high in fat and calories.
- Creamy Soups. Full of saturated fat and calories, creamy soups may warm you up on a cold day, but aren't worth the extra calories. Stick to broth based soups instead!
- Pecan Pie. One slice is typically around 500 calories and 8g of saturated fat. Pumpkin pie and sweet potato pie are much better, low calorie options.
- Sugar Cookies. A single cookie can contain 200 calories and 14 grams of sugar, not to mention when they are topped with icing!
- Glazed Ham. Although a lean cut of ham can be healthy, when it is covered in salty and sugary glazes, the health benefits disappear.
- Gravy. Full of salt and fat, the moisture it adds to your turkey isn't worth the extra calories.
- Cinnamon Rolls. A classic cinnamon roll at Cinnabon has 730 calories. Full of sugar and fat, a cinnamon roll is one of the worst ways to start your day.
- Peppermint Mocha Latte. A grande at Starbucks has 540 calories and tons of sugar, so opt for apple cider or a Christmas blend coffee if possible. If you have to indulge, be sure to ask for skim milk!
Healthy Holiday Foods:
- Sweet Potatoes. High in fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C; roasted sweet potatoes are a great low calorie food option during the Holidays as long as they aren't covered in marshmallows and butter. And they still have a sweet flavor!
- Cranberries. Full of beneficial antioxidants, fiber, potassium, and low in calories. Just be sure to stay away from sweetened cranberry sauces.
- Cocoa. Sugar free hot chocolate is a great low calorie way to warm up on a cold winter night and dark chocolate even contains healthy antioxidants.
- Turkey. Eating protein is essential to get rid of cravings and fill you up, and with only 120 calories and 1g of fat in a serving of skinless turkey, it is your best holiday option.
- Green Beans. A great source of vitamin A, C, and K, manganese, fiber, potassium, folate, and iron, green beans are a great low-calorie veggie. Just avoid green bean casserole, and boil or steam and season them instead!
- Red Wine. Full of heart healthy antioxidants and low in calories, wine is the healthiest alcohol option during the holidays.
- Stuffing. Usually thought of as an unhealthy dish, by getting rid of the butter and using chicken broth and packing it with nuts, fruit, carrots and celery, you can easily transform stuffing into a healthy dish.
- Collard Greens. Steaming or sautéing these veggies in olive oil as a side will provide tons of vitamins and antioxidants.
- Pumpkin. Packed with vitamin A and fiber, pumpkin dishes, even pumpkin pie can be a healthy holiday choice as long as you avoid fattening toppings and mix-ins.
- Pomegranates. One of the best sources of antioxidants you can find, add pomegranate seeds or juice to holiday recipes for a flavor a health boost.
Thanks for reading our Skinny Blog, we hope you have a holiday season full of joy!