By Abby Jennings
When it comes to the holiday season – we’re all about our traditions. The holidays wouldn’t be the same without the classic songs, decorations, holiday parties – and don’t forget food. Traditional holiday party food may seem like a harmless occasional indulgence, but they are packed full of hidden calories and fat – and it’s usually the healthy sounding ones that are the worst for you. By becoming aware of which foods made the naughty list this year – you will be better prepared to fight holiday weight gain.
1. The Classic Holiday Drink – Eggnog
Thankfully this drink only makes its appearance once a year (you may not think so, but your waistline does). This drink will set you back 350 calories, 19 grams of fat and 22 grams of sugar per serving (not even including the optional “spiked” component). Eggnog may bring you some holiday cheer – but drink sparingly.
2. The Deceptively Healthy Sounding Snack – Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Just because the words spinach and artichoke precede the word “dip” doesn’t mean it’s good for you. It’s what’s left out of the title that makes it a caloric nightmare. Once you add cream cheese, sour cream and mayo and pair it with chips, you end up with 300 calories and 19 grams of fat for one dollop (about ¼ cup).
3. Lifestyles of the Rich and Creamy- Crab Cakes
You know it’s bad when you can eat three dozen shrimp for fewer calories than one crab cake. It’s not the crab that gets the bad reputation but what is added to it. By mixing the crab with mayo, rolling it in bread crumbs and flash frying it in a boiling vat of grease – you end up with 400 calories and 19 grams of fat for one small crab cake. Who knew something so small could have such a big impact on your figure!
4. The hors d’oeuvre That’s Not Going Away –Pigs in a Blanket
These bite-sized pigs in a blanket may not seem to be high in calories since they are gone in a single bite, but each one sets you back 80 calories with at least 5 grams of fat. And who ever stops at one? If not kept in check, you may be eating a full meal’s worth of calories without even realizing it!
5. The Fork-Size Version of a Brunch Favorite – Mini-Quiches
The smallness of mini-quiches can fool you into thinking that you can enjoy a bite-sized version of a brunch favorite without all the calories. Unfortunately as we’ve seen with the other foods on the naughty list – size doesn’t always accurately represent the caloric content – each mini-quiche contains around 90 calories and 7 grams of fat.
6. The Latest Trend in Party Food – Sliders
The only good thing about sliders is that their size helps with portion control. If you stop at 1 – you will consume 120 calories and 8 grams of fat. It will be a test of willpower for sure!
7. The Coveted – Prime Rib
Contrary to its popularity as a status symbol, you are much better off without this coveted entrée. This cut of meat comes from the fattest part of the cow which weighs in at 750 calories and 45 grams of fat with just one serving.
8. Don’t Go Nuts – Pecan Pie
You’re not the only one who rationalizes that pecan pie is healthy because it contains nuts (and even though nuts are high in fat – it’s the “good” kind of fat). But try rationalizing your way out of the fact that pecan pie has the most calories, fat and sugar than any other pie. Most of its 810 calories, 65 grams of fat and 55 grams of sugar come from the corn syrup and sugar filling, and not the nuts.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t indulge in these tasty holiday traditions once in awhile – just don’t overdo it. Sometimes healthier alternatives aren’t always an option when you are the guest. Try hosting your own holiday soiree, or even bring your own dish to work or that holiday party to ensure you have a healthy alternative at hand. Showcase your ability to make tasty healthy alternatives to traditional holiday favorites – your guests will be thanking you the next day!