It may be a lost cause to try to watch your waistline during the holiday season, but you don’t want to completely undo all the good work you put in the rest of the year. So, if you are looking to lighten your plate a bit this season, here are seven heavy holiday dishes you might want to avoid.
1. Pecan Pie
Pecans are already a high calorie snack, but put them together with lots of sugar, butter, and a flaky pie crust and you’ve got a recipe for crazy calorie counts. The average slice has 500 calories, 37 grams of fat, and 26 grams of sugar. You’re much better off with pumpkin or apple pie.
2. Egg Nog
It’s a good thing egg nog is only a once a year treat, because it is a major calorie bomb. Just one cup will give you half of the USDA’s suggested daily limit of cholesterol and almost a day’s worth of sugar! And it’s more than 300 calories per cup—before you put any grog in your nog.
3. Glazed Ham
Ham isn’t a bad choice on its own, but once you start glazing, all that goodness can head out the door in a hurry. You might be dishing up 6 grams of sugar per slice (just think for a moment how many slices you put on your plate) not to mention as much as 1500 miligrams of sodium. Make your own glaze from mustard and jam to make this a healthier main course.
4. Canned Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries are nutritional powerhouses, but the canned stuff contains more than four times the recommended daily amount of sugar for women, not to mention a whopping 400 calories per serving. You can easily make your own with a whole heck of a lot less sugar. It just won’t come out in the shape of a can.
5. Candied Yams
Butter, brown sugar, nuts, marshmallows… Wait, is this a side dish or a dessert?? Instead, why not whip up some roasted sweet potatoes and top them with a little cinnamon or nutmeg. Even if you add butter to taste, you’ll be saving a ton of calories and fat.
6. Sugar Cookies
A staple for Santa’s cookie plate, these tasty little morsels are basically butter, sugar, white flour and eggs—none of which is really great for Santa’s girlish figure. Unfortunately, lightened versions tend to not have very good texture, so you’re probably better off switching to one of these secretly healthy holiday cookies.
7. Green Bean Casserole with Fried Onions
Green beans are good, but once you load them up with canned soup, or homemade white sauce, maybe some cheese, and those crispy fried onions… Well, the green beans are really just a vehicle for extra calories. Try green beans with caramelized onions and mushrooms for an equally flavorful, but less caloric dish.