The holiday season presents a daunting challenge when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We are constantly surrounded by food temptations and most of us end up feeling guilty and stuffed after a great meal. Here are some tips on which foods to enjoy and which ones may be on your naughty list.
Turkey Skin: White meat turkey is ideal to fill up on at the table but hold the naughty skin that is loaded with saturated fat. Dark meat turkey is also higher in fat than the white meat counterpart. If you don’t want to miss out, simply take a small bite size piece of dark meat and skin to get the flavours.
Stuffing: There are many variations of stuffing at the holiday table, but ones loaded with butter and assorted high fat meats and carbohydrates are on the naughty list. If stuffing is a tradition you cannot do without, think about options containing vegetables, cranberries and raisins, low-sodium chicken broth and wild rice. Of course keep portion size in mind, a tablespoon serving is probably all you need to enjoy the flavours.
Mashed Potatoes: Naughty mashed potatoes are loaded with cream, butter and salt for their classic taste and a cup can contain over 230 calories. Choose a baked potato or baked sweet potato and only take ½ to cut down on the calories. Baked potatoes are healthy alternatives and you can choose how much butter and salt to apply…remember only a pinch of both.
Pies: One of the worst culprits is pecan pie as a slice can contain more than 500 calories! To be on the nice list, choose apple pie and ask for ½ of the slice rather than the whole one. A small slice of cheese to go along with the pie is a good protein source, rather than a naughty dollop of whipping cream or ice cream.
Egg Nog: One of the most common and enjoyed holiday drinks is definitely on the naughty list. Egg nog is made with alcohol, heavy cream, eggs and sugar and together contains up to 340 calories and 19g of fat per cup! When choosing egg nog, look for skim milk and egg substitutes. If the real deal is a must, go for ½ a serving and savour it.
Along with these food tips, remember to get up and walk away from a buffet table, or excuse yourself at the table after a meal to stop consuming food. The holiday season should be about enjoying friends, family and food, but remember to not over-due it!
By Sarah Bamber