Holiday parties and family dinners can lead to tasty temptations. Before you know it, you’ve filled up on countless empty calories and loads of saturated fat. Sure it tastes good at the time, but is it worth it? Nutritionist Keri Glassman tells OK! what you can expect from some of your favorite holiday dishes. After all, who wants to ring in the new year 10 pounds heavier?!
1) Pie (apple, pumpkin, pecan) with whipped cream or ice cream: 1 slice of apple pie is about 400 calories, 13 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, before you add whipped cream or ice cream. So it’s high in calories, high in fat and loaded in sugar.
Aim for: a sliced apple with some honey or a bowl of berries instead.
2) Candied yams: 1 serving has 400 calories, 11 g fat, 7 g saturated fat. Baked sweet potatoes can be healthy and are great if you don’t add butter, sugar and maple syrup!
Aim for: a plain baked sweet potato, and you’ll be loading up on nutrients and skipping all the extra fat and calories.
3) Mashed potatoes: 1 cup, 240 calories, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat. Plain baked potatoes or oven-roasted potatoes are not too bad for you. But when you add the extra milk and butter, you add extra calories and increase the fat.
Aim for: a small baked potato dry or with low-fat sour cream and chives instead.
4) Gravy: ¼ cup = 30 calories. It’s bad enough you want the mashed potatoes. With gravy, you’ll be adding even more calories and fat for no reason.
Aim for: skipping it all together!
5) Mac and cheese: 250 calories, 10 g fat, 4 g saturated fat. Sure it’s comfort food, but it also packs on calories. There is no nutritional value from regular pasta, and the whole milk, heavy cream and cheese are high in fat and saturated fat. Who needs comfort when you’re surrounded by family and friends?
Aim for: the side dishes that are filled with veggies.
6) Eggnog: 8 oz. = 342 calories, 19 g fat, 11g saturated fat. Sure it’s festive, but it’s high in fat and cholesterol, not to mention having a ton of calories!
Aim for: a wine spritzer (a glass filled with ½ wine and ½ seltzer).
7) Pigs in a blanket/cheese puffs: Two of each = 175 calories. These don’t give you a lot of bang for your buck. Just four small hors d’oeuvres are high in saturated fat. And since they are so small, you’ll probably want four more. Just not worth it.
Aim for: loading up on the fresh veggies and dip, which are usually available at parties. Just don’t go crazy with the dip!
8) Chocolate mousse: 250 calories, 15 g fat, 8 g saturated fat. Sure it’s dairy, but there is absolutely no nutritional value here. It’s high in calories, fat and sugar.
Aim for: a few bites and then put the spoon down.
9) Stuffing: 1 serving could be 500 calories, 8 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat. It’s full of simple carbs, added fat, and it’s so easy to overeat! Just leave it off your plate.
Aim for: a meal that’s mostly protein and veggies, or make OK!’s low-cal alternative (below).
10) Green-bean casserole: 120 calories, 7g fat, 2 g saturated fat. Green beans are supposed to be healthy, but this dish completely destroys them. The cream soup and fried onions add calories and fat to an otherwise healthy vegetable.
Aim for: all the veggies that are steamed, grilled or boiled.
By: Karen Berg