Our Guide to 5 Healthy Holiday Eats
Your diet doesn't have to get in the way of holiday cheer. Instead, pick and choose the healthier, but still tasty, options for your big meal or parties this season. Are mashed potatoes better than green bean casserole? Should you pass on Grandma's pumpkin pie for the cheesecake? Find out with our guide to five healthy holiday eats.
Red or White Wine?
Toasting the holidays? Reach for the red. A 5-ounce glass of white has almost the same amount of calories (about 121 compared to 124 in a typical red), but the health benefits of red outweigh those in white. A glass of red wine reduces your risk of heart problems, is good for your skin and provides you with antioxidants. Just remember that the benefits come when you drink in moderation, so don't overdo this tasty tipple.
Mixed Nuts or Chex Mix?
For a pre-dinner or party snack, do you reach for party mix or mixed nuts? Calorie-wise, a half-cup of snack mix at 120 calories may be your best bet. But dry roasted nuts, while coming in with a whopping 407 calories a half-cup, may actually promote weight loss. They're loaded with healthy fats and protein and can keep you satisfied so you won't overeat on the more unhealthy sides and desserts. Just try not to overdo it, about 10 roasted nuts, without peanuts, equals about 65 calories.
Green Bean Casserole or Mashed Potatoes?
Torn between traditional sides? Add a little green to your plate with your favorite aunt's green bean casserole. This holiday staple is surprisingly healthy (even with those French fried onions) with about 143 calories a cup. Compare that to about 238 calories in a cup of mashed potatoes (not to mention the extra sodium).
Baked Ham or Roasted Turkey?
Got a choice of main dishes on your holiday buffet? Gobble up the skinless roasted turkey. One serving has about 190 calories, compared to 345 in a serving of baked ham. Another plus: You'll miss out on extra sodium as well. A typical 4-ounce serving of baked ham has 1,200mg of sodium (more than half the daily recommended amount for most people) compared to 60mg of sodium in 4 ounces of roasted turkey.
Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Cheesecake?
There's no need to deny your sweet tooth after the holiday meal, but be smart and go with good ol' pumpkin pie. At about 316 calories per slice, this holiday favorite has about half the calories of a slice of typical pumpkin-style cheesecake (around 740 calories), and you save on fat and sodium, too. Want to enjoy a healthier pumpkin pie? Try this version with a nutritional twist.