Foods to avoid during the Holidays

With the holidays around the corner, life throws a lot of extra treats your way.  From extra joy to extra time spent with family, there is always something to be grateful for.  Unfortunately, along with all of the wonderful surprises you gather during the holidays, most people tend to gain weight.

It might catch you by surprise that one or two meals would cause you to gain weight.  But don’t be fooled by all of the food beautifully displayed before you.  There are several holiday meals you might want to skip this year.  From cheese straws to eggnog, something as simple as a little snack can consume one-third of your daily saturated fat intake.  Be caution in enjoy little treats lying around the house during the holidays.  As innocent and small as they might be, holiday treats aren’t so sweet, but are packed with calories.

Side dishes might look smaller, but their calories say otherwise.  Candied yams are a popular holiday side dish, but with more grams of sugar than your entire day’s intake should be in a single serving, you might want to opt for an alternative.  As sweet potatoes are a main component in candied yams, try a sweet potato casserole and lower your sugar intake as well as your total fat intake.  Possibly the most used side of all is gravy.  Used on all meats, and most side dishes, gravy covers your entire plate as more than just a sauce.  This side is drenched with fat and salt.  A mere cup of gravy can provide your body with enough sodium to reach more than half of your daily sodium limit.

By the time you’ve filled your plate with side dishes, you’ve probably exceeded your daily caloric intake.  Add your main course, and you’ve outdone yourself.  Pot roast, even the leanest version, is loaded with saturated fat, a lot of calories, and even more total fat.  White-meat turkey is a much better alternative in calories and general health.  Prime rib is a popular cut of beef for holiday festivities.  Unfortunately, this cut comes from the fattest part of the cow, giving you over half of your daily caloric intake in one serving.  If your love for steak is too great to sacrifice, try another cut.  Beef tenderloin has one-fourth the calories of prime rib.

After you’ve indulged in your holiday meal, if you have room for dessert, you might reach for a fruitcake.  It has fruit in it, but don’t be fooled by the first half of its name.  Just one slice of fruitcake is overflowing with calories, corn syrup, and other fatty ingredients.  A festive alternative is pumpkin pie, which is about half of the calories per slice.  Pecan pie is another high calorie dessert.  As a naturally high calorie nut, pecans, alone, are not the best choice.  Combined with corn syrup, butter, and sugar, pecans take on a whole new meaning.  Pecan pie is oozing with calories.  For a healthier alternative, try apple pie—it’s less calories and more fiber!