During the holiday season in December, most people put on a few extra pounds. That said, what are some fairly healthy holiday foods? It’s good to know some foods and drinks that aren’t “too bad” for you this time of year, right?
How about turkey? Of all the traditional “centerpiece” meats, it’s the healthiest. In a 4-ounce serving of breast meat without skin there are 168 calories and just 2 grams of fat. So, if you like turkey, enjoy it! And if you want to shave off some calories and fat, eat breast meat without skin, since skin adds 50 calories and 6 grams of fat to a typical 4-ounce piece. Check labels to see how much sodium your particular turkey has– and avoid the ones with 300 mg of sodium in 4 ounces– the less “salty,” the better!
Natural pumpkin is good for you at holiday time. It’s packed with vitamins A and C, as well as antioxidants and fiber. At just 30 calories a cup, enjoy pumpkin! But watch out for “pumpkin spice,” which often has a lot of sugar added to it. And if you’re buying canned pumpkin, avoid pumpkin-pie filling (too sugary), opting for “pure pumpkin” instead.
Do you like the taste of sweet potatoes? If so, great! Like pumpkin, sweet potatoes are filled with fiber, vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. Instead of covering your potatoes with marshmallows, butter and brown sugar this year, try just baking them with a little olive oil. They’ll taste great and not have too many calories. Ideally, avoid canned sweet potatoes since they tend to be packed with heavy syrup.
Finally, there’s hot cocoa. The good thing about this holiday favorite is that it contains flavanols, which help with the brain’s blood circulation. Instead of instant mixes, it’s best to make your own hot cocoa drink using unsweetened cocoa, low-fat milk and just a teaspoon of sugar.
At holiday time, watch your portion sizes, and be careful about how much sugar, salt and fat you’re putting in your body.