With the holiday season in full swing, you may find carols in the air and unhealthy temptation all around. It’s not just the holiday sweets you have to watch out for either—there are tons of foods served throughout the season that have deceptively high calorie counts and little nutritional value. While the occasional indulgence won’t destroy your health this season, there are a dozen foods you can cut out to keep your eating on track.
Calorie dense and full of fat and sugar, this holiday drink is best used as a coffee creamer or cut with skim milk rather than something to enjoy on its own.
With fruit in the name, it certainly sounds healthy, but the fruit inside is often loaded with extra sugar—as is the cake surrounding it.
Too much sugar is a common theme among holiday foods, and candied yams are no exception. Instead, try out roasted sweet potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes to cut the sugar and enjoy the natural goodness of the vegetable.
With a heap of added salt and a daily allotment of saturated fat, these crunchy treats should be traded in for whole wheat crackers or even corn chips, which are much kinder to the waistline.
Hot Buttered Rum
If hot buttered rum is on your holiday drink list, you may want to reconsider. It has over 300 calories in a small cup, so try reaching for something a little on the lighter side, like spiced wine or cider.
Chips and Dip
Mindless snacking can be what hits you hardest at holiday gatherings, so step away from the snack table and do some mingling instead.
Sugar cookies may be fun to decorate, but it’s also easy to overindulge with the sweet stuff. When you do your holiday baking, keep healthy snacks on the ready so that you don’t overdo it with the sweet options.
Candy is generally not great to keep around, since it’s just empty calories. If you can’t get through the holidays without candy canes, however, opt for the miniature versions rather than full-size.
After dinner beverages like chocolate martinis and Irish cream are always popular in the winter season, but they create a dangerous combination of too much sugar and fat. Instead, sip on a hot toddy or go non-alcoholic with a nice winter tea and a little honey.
When it comes to overdoing it on serving sizes, gravy is a common offender. In small quantities, it’s not too bad, but in a cup of gravy, you’ll consume well over 1,000 milligrams of sodium—not to mention a considerable amount of fat.
Melted cheese makes it hard to keep tabs on serving sizes, so put out a cheese plate instead and keep the fondue forks stashed away.
Orange-flavored chocolates that break off into wedges are fun to eat and tasty too, but these are far removed from the nutritional citrus fruit. Instead of these, dip some real orange slices in dark chocolate and enjoy a much more wholesome snack.
For the help you need staying in good health for the holidays, you can count on MeMD anytime, anywhere for on-demand medical care.