6 Naughty Holiday Foods, and their Nicer Options

By Shari Lopatin

The average person gains two to five pounds during the holidays.

Want to avoid that?

Experts suggest concentrating on retaining your weight during the holidays … rather than losing. Much of that can be done with portion control.

However, certain holiday foods are on the naughty list, when it comes to calories. Leave it to TriWest Healthcare Alliance Registered Dietitian Jackie Magyar to swoop in and save the day! Here are some “nicer” options to combat those naughty foods, courtesy of Magyar:

Naughty: Ham
Ham is already a rather lean meat, but it’s high in sodium (salt).

Nice: Smaller Portions
Instead of piling your plate, eat a smaller portion, which is only about 3-4 ounces.

Naughty: Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes come with milk, butter, salt, and even heavy cream. Yummy, but unhealthy!

Nice: Mashed Cauliflower
Use soy or almond milk rather than whole milk.

Naughty: Pecan Pie
A favorite for sure, but high in calories and cholesterol.

Nice: Sweet Potato Pie
Sweet potatoes are a great source of beta-carotene and vitamin C.  Plus, they count as a serving of veggies!

Naughty: Eggnog
In just one cup of eggnog, there are 350 calories. Yikes!

Nice: Warm Apple Cider
This alternative has only 120 calories per cup … and NO fat. That’s less than half of the calories in eggnog.

Naughty: Tamales
Traditional tamales are made with lard or shortening that is high in saturated fat.

Nice: Chicken Taco
A chicken taco is about 150 calories and can be made with corn tortillas, a good source of fiber.

Naughty: Cornbread Stuffing
Very high in sodium (salt), this delicious side dish has nearly 400 calories in just one cup.

Nice: Wild Rice, Quinoa, or Grilled Vegetables
Wild rice is rich in B vitamins and fiber. Whole grains like quinoa are also filled with fiber—which helps lower cholesterol—as are grilled veggies.

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