While no holiday foods should be completely off-limits, there are some dishes for which a little goes a long way. Here are six foods and beverages you may want to think twice about before indulging in or at least avoid consuming multiple portions.
Egg Nog: I love egg nog, but it’s a good thing it’s only available once a year – for at 335 calories per cup and 20 g fat (and that’s without the rum) eggnog is a minefield of liquid holiday calories. If you do indulge, do what I do and treat it as a dessert….think of it as drinking melted ice cream. In fact pour it in a mug and use your spoon – and savor it.
Creamed corn has 330 calories and a whopping 27 g fat per 1-cup serving. Choose regular steamed corn or squash 0r even popcorn as alternatives and you’ll save 200 calories in the process.
Pecan pie: What makes pies so fattening is the sugar and the pastry crust. A slice of pecan pie has 456 calories, 215 of fat and 32 g (or 8 tsp) of sugar. Switch to pumpkin pie and save about 125 calories and you’ll get a healthy dose of betacarotene.
Christmas cheese balls: When the hors d’oeuvre tray comes your way, steer clear of the holiday cheese balls. At 421 calories and 39 g fat (most of it saturated), they are not worth it. Furthermore, avoid or minimize your consumption of anything fried and creamy, like spinach and ranch dip, crab cakes, oyster Rockefeller, fried mushroom caps or those insidious little cream puffs. Stick with shrimp cocktails, deli meats and of course fresh or roasted vegetables and fresh fruit.
Green bean casserole – If you just have to make the old-fashioned green bean casserole, lose most of the fried onion rings and make it with non-fat cream of mushroom soup or served herbed green beans. Toss green beans that have been steamed or microwaved with a bit of olive oil and some of your favorite herbs and spices. Or, do what I do, steam your green beans with some Brussels sprouts – yum!
Dinner rolls (made with white bread) and served with butter: There’s nothing really wrong with dinner rolls and butter but why waste the calories? They offer very little nutritionally and they’re nothing special that you couldn’t have any other time of year.