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What you might not know about your favorite holiday foods

What you might not know about your favorite holiday foods

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The holidays are right around the corner, and while we hate to put a damper on the holiday spirit, there are some things you should know about your favorite holiday dishes: Many of them aren’t doing you any favors when it comes to losing weight. Here are a few facts you may not know about some of your holiday faves:


One little cup of eggnog averages about 344 calories. That’s the equivalent of three glasses of red wine.

Candied yams

Sweet potatoes may be good for you, but candied yams don’t fall on the “healthy” side. One serving has about 27 grams of sugar, 190 calories and 41 grams of carbohydrates. One candied yam casserole holds about six cups of sugar.


Though it certainly tastes delicious, try to avoid this creamy treat. Besides being high in calories and carbs, cheesecake also contains about 18 grams of fat per serving.


It’s a Christmas favorite, but one slice of gingerbread averages just under 300 calories and 36 grams of carbs. You can make it a little healthier by using regular milk instead of buttermilk and adding vinegar.

Glazed ham

 It’s protein, right? While regular ham is OK, even plain ham contains high amounts of sodium. Glazed ham, loaded with brown sugar, fruit juice, butter and more brown sugar, isn’t helping you in the weight-loss department at all.

Spiced cider

With as many as 20 grams of sugar and 20 grams of carbs in one cup, it might be worth trading in that cup of hot apple cider for black coffee instead.


How can you enjoy the holidays without consuming some of your favorite foods? It’s not all bad news. Here are a few tips from the experts to help you survive the season without adding pounds on the scale:

  • When you go to a party, take the smallest plate available and fill it first with the healthiest foods you can find. Lay on the raw veggies and even a few nuts if you can find them. Only after your plate is full should you squeeze in some bites of the yummy stuff. Having a full plate will make you feel like you aren’t sacrificing so much, and you can still nibble on a tasty treat between bites of healthier fare.
  • Always eat a healthy snack or meal before you go to a party and steer clear of the buffet if possible.
  • Eliminate all the tempting food in your house. Give away holiday goodies you receive as gifts. If you do bake holiday treats, freeze most of it, only leaving out a small amount.
  • Focus on socializing, not on eating when you go to a party. Remember, conversation has zero calories, and standing while you visit doesn’t quite count as an aerobic activity but it’s definitely better than sitting and snacking all through the party.

Arm yourself with these tips and you’ll be sure to have a healthier holiday season.