The holidays usually come with a lot of parties and parties usually mean food. While you may want to taste all that’s in the buffet table, not all of them are good for you – not just for your waistline, but for your health as well.
If you’re on a diet, your tactic is to probably stay away from sweet treats. Although this is a good start, it doesn’t always work.
You should know there are sweet treats that are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and these are good for you. Some, unfortunately, appear to be healthy foods, but are actually full of calories.
Before you start digging in, it is a smart move to know which holiday foods you should stay away from:
1. Cheese Straws
Why Not: One straw is enough to give you 1/3 of your saturated fat daily limit.
Alternatives: Chips with salsa, pretzels, or popcorn
Why Not: It has ingredients that appear healthy, such as eggs, but the other items in this drink include whipping cream, sugar, and bourbon. If you’re smart, you will stay away from eggnogs as they contain almost 350 calories, 21 grams of sugar, and 150 mg of cholesterol, which is almost half of the recommended limit.
Alternatives: Spiced cider or a healthier version of eggnog, which uses unsweetened cocoa powder
3. Stuffed Potatoes
Why Not: Potatoes have fiber and vitamin C. However, stuffed potatoes contain sour cream, butter, and cheese. A medium of this potato can give you more than 300 calories and eight grams saturated fat.
Alternatives: Eat stuffed potatoes that use low-fat dairy or those with vegetables, such as spinach and onion. Sweet potatoes are also a better alternative because they have lower amount of calories and fat than potatoes.
4. Creamed Spinach
Why Not: Indeed, why not when spinach is one of the healthiest greens around? But this holiday food has fatty elements, such as butter, cheese, and cream. Creamed spinach can give you almost 80% of the saturated fat limit. Plus, it has 280 calories, which is pretty high for a side dish.
Alternative: Use light cream cheese and low fat milk if you really want to enjoy creamed spinach.
Why Not: The name can be deceiving, but this is a sweet treat that has butter, corn syrup, and sugar. Plus, you can get 410 calories with 13 grams of fat with just a slice.
Alternative: Pumpkin pie
The good news is that you can make a healthier version of the holiday dishes, so you don’t have to completely avoid them. In the case of fruitcakes, you can use a lighter loaf and add bananas, blueberries, and grits.