Foods to Avoid This Holiday Season
Holidays can be a very challenging time if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight. While you don’t have to deny yourself completely, you should limit portion sizes and keep track of what you’re eating so you don’t find yourself gaining weight this holiday season.
Unhealthy Foods to Avoid
Green bean casserole or other fattening veggie side dishes: Vegetables can be healthy, but not when you cook them in cream and butter and cover them in fried onions. You’re loading up on fat and calories as well as more than 4,000 milligrams of sodium – more than twice what you should have in a day. Instead, try a healthier vegetable dish, like tomatoes with garlic and tomato sauce.
Cranberry sauce: Store-bought cranberry sauce is loaded with sugar, carbs, and over 400 calories a serving. But if you make your own at home with fresh cranberries, you can create a tasty dish and add some healthier sweetness with stevia or raw honey.
Candied yams: Yams are naturally sweet, so there’s no need to cook them in a sugary syrup and top them with marshmallows. As with many other dishes, you’re adding calories, fat, and sugar when you do this.
Potato dishes: Many dishes like mashed potatoes are loaded with butter, whole milk, and salt. If you’d still like to have potatoes but want to make it healthier, mash them with low-fat milk or low-sodium, fat-free chicken stock and omit the butter and salt.
Sugary drinks and alcohol: Eggnog combines heavy cream, eggs, and sugar and sometimes alcohol, creating a drink that has about 360 calories and 16 grams of fat for just a cup. Instead, make it with skim milk and egg substitutes, cutting way back on the sweetener. Many other alcoholic drinks such as cocktails can also have a lot of calories, so if you’d like a drink, make a wine spritzer with pomegranate or cranberry juice mixed with a little wine and sparkling water.
Fattening desserts: The holidays are filled with desserts that are packed with calories, sugar, and carbs. If you’d like something sweet, choose a small amount of dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa.
‘Healthy’ Foods That are Surprisingly Unhealthy
Veggies with ranch or blue cheese dressing: Raw veggies can provide plenty of nutrients without many calories, but if you’re dipping or smothering them in ranch or blue cheese, you’re adding about 150 calories and 16 grams of fat for just two tablespoons.
Cubed cheese and crackers: Simple cubed cheese looks harmless, but you can eat just five 1-inch cubes and get 345 calories. By the time you’ve added a few crackers, you’re hitting 500 calories for a small snack. Instead, put yourself on a strict limit, or choose a thin layer of cheese spread.
Mixed nuts: Nuts can be heart-healthy, but they can also be loaded with calories and fat – nearly 450 calories and 40 grams of fat per half cup! If you do decide to indulge, limit yourself to a very small serving of spiced nuts for more of a flavor kick.
The physicians and dietitians at Gotham Medical Associates offer comprehensive and highly specialized care in gastroenterology, endoscopy, hepatology, women’s GI health and nutritional services. For more information or to book an appointment with Gotham Medical Associates, call 212-227-3688 or schedule an appointment online at any time.