Naughty and Nice Holiday Foods
Avoid holiday weight gain, and still enjoy the feast.
'Good for You' Holiday Foods continued...
"Many holiday foods that people think they should avoid are actually
healthy in small amounts," says Vasconcellos.
As long as you mind your portions, these perennial favorites are wise
choices. For fewer calories, prepare them with an artificial sweetener used in
cooking, such as Splenda. Here's what they have to offer, besides calories:
Applesauce and Apples
Heart-healthy fiber does indeed keep the doctor away. Look for unsweetened
applesauce to get the fiber without the sugar. Bake apples with the skin to get
a potent flavonoid called quercitin, which helps prevent heart disease.
You get the most bone-building calcium and protein from hard cheeses.
Cranberry Sauce (Unsweetened)
Cranberries spell trouble for bacteria that cause most urinary tract
infections. If you like sweet cranberries, add a minimal amount of sugar, or
Seventy percent dark chocolate contains the most flavonols -- helpful plant
substances that help decrease cholesterol.
Naturally low in calories, string beans are loaded with vitamin K, which
helps protect your bones. Also, a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A. But
skip heavy sauces with this veggie. Try beans lightly tossed with olive oil and
Nuts are chock-full of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, vitamins, minerals,
This rich orange vegetable contains carotenoids for making vitamin A in the
body and fighting free radicals. Pumpkin is also a good source of potassium and
fiber. Beware: most pies are loaded with sugar. Use artificial sweetener
instead of sugar for a lower calorie dessert.
Yams offer carotenoids, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. Candied yams are
high in sugar. Bake with a bit of brown sugar, or with artificial sweetener,
for the taste without the calories.
Make Nice With Naughty Holiday Foods
Sure, they taste great and they tempt you to eat too much, but it rarely
pays to avoid favorite holiday foods, no matter how caloric.
"Depriving yourself of a holiday treat can backfire and make you crave
the food even more, leading to overeating," says Bissex.
Choose wisely, Bissex recommends.