Best and Worst Holiday Foods for Health
The holidays are a favorite time of year for most and one of the top reasons for this is the food. It seems there are certain recipes that only get brought out during this time of year and while some are perfectly healthy there are others that should be eaten in moderation to avoid winter weight gain.
Surprisingly, this is not just a list of all your favorite holiday desserts. There are some common holiday meals that are calorie dense and lack a lot of essential vitamins and minerals.
Worst Holiday Foods
Everyone loves a good, sweet, cooked carrot. Carrots have a unique ability to become naturally sweet when cooked or roasted. Unfortunately, some people feel the need to add high fat and sugar ingredients like maple glaze or brown sugar to make this already sweet vegetable even sweeter when cooking.
This may be a strange food to start off the list as worst dishes for the holidays, but why waste calories on carrots when this delicious side is already sweet?
Canned Cranberry Sauce
This can shaped side item is popular among many for sweetening up dishes like stuffing and turkey. While the holidays may not be the same without cranberry sauce the canned version is loaded with preservatives and added sugar.
This means you may be taking in about the same amount of sugar and calories as you would in your favorite piece of pie. It is simple to make a homemade cranberry sauce that won’t cut in to your dessert calories.
Why? Why has boxed stuffing replaced family favorites? It is easy and convenient, but loaded with sodium and hard to pronounce words in the ingredients list. Along with being filled with a number of unfamiliar ingredients, these boxed alternatives also might be heavy on the refined carbohydrate side. This makes them highly inflammatory along with offering little in the way of nutrition.*
Don’t eat everything at feasts and parties. Be choosy and spend calories judiciously on the foods you love.
On any given day, the average person consumes upwards of 225 grams of carbohydrates a day!
Best Holiday Foods
When trying to stick to your health goals during the holiday season there are some dishes that you should try to integrate into your holiday meals. By adding nutrient dense sides you may take in necessary vitamins and minerals while simultaneously getting yourself full on healthier items to help prevent overeating on less nutritious foods.
The worst list was started with carrots so why not start the best list off the same? Oven roasted carrots need little in the way of added fat and may be seasoned with simple herbs and spices like rosemary and thyme. Carrots are a nutrient dense vegetable that are low in calorie and contain beneficial nutrients like vitamin C and A which may help improve your immune system during the holiday season.*
This rich and creamy cheese is an excellent alternative to mac-and-cheese which is high in saturated fat and low in nutrients. Brie is a great source of protein, calcium, vitamin A, and B-12.
As an alternative to higher fat dishes brie can also be topped with honey to help satisfy your sweet tooth without turning to refined and added sugars. When selecting a brie brand it is best to choose brie that has been made with the milk of grass-fed cow’s.
Boost the protein content of your sides by replacing refined white rice with this plant-based protein grain. The protein and fiber content of quinoa may help to increase your satiety and also provide you with more nutrients than a side of rice or potatoes are able to provide.
Not only can quinoa help boost the health benefits of your holiday meals, but it is also naturally gluten free making it almost essential to meet the dietary needs of all your guests. Iron, potassium, and calcium are all nutrients that are lacking in the every-day modern diet for most and quinoa contains a respectable amount of these.
Help block carbs intelligently
A fusion of 3 natural ingredients that may help with the absorption of complex carbs for those on a ketogenic or low-carb diet.*
- 500 mg white kidney beans as "starch blockers"*
- 250 mg green tea leaf powder
- 200 mg cinnamon powder
- Natural and non-GMO
- Dairy, soy, and gluten free
- Made in the USA in a cGMP certified facility
- Third party tested
- 3-month supply
- Natural formula
- Keto & paleo friendly, non-GMO
- No artificial ingredients or chemicals
- Dairy, peanut, soy, gluten & egg free
- Premium quality
- Made in the USA
- Manufactured in a cGMP certified facility
Final Thought on Holiday Foods
The holidays are a time for family, friends, and food. Because of this no one willingly wants to cut out their favorite dishes. However, by eating them in moderation and adding in a few nutrient-dense options it is possible to not only maintain your health, but potentially improve it by adding in side of this nature.