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Binge This, Not That: Holiday Foods You Can Safely Overeat

Published on , Last Updated on June 7, 2013

mashed potatoes

The holiday season is a time to gather with your family and friends, and just enjoy the company of your loved ones. Unfortunately, during the holiday festivities, you will be tempted to eat many delicious, but unhealthy foods.

This year, when you’re getting ready to binge on holiday food, follow this quick guide of what’s okay to binge on and what you should stay away from (or at least stick to a smaller portion).

Binge This:

Brussel Sprouts

  • Calories: 65
  • Fat: 0.6g

These little critters may sound disgusting (how many of us remember choking down a couple of sprouts just to appease our mothers?), but when they’re cooked correctly, they’re actually quite delicious. And at 65 calories a serving, you can afford to get seconds of this healthy green.

Not That:

Mashed Potatoes

  • Calories: 237
  • Fat: 9g

Most of us are lovers of the taters. We love to load them up with butter, cheese, and sour cream, then say farewell to our diet goals with reckless abandon. But if you’re smart (like we will be this year), you need to stay away from these delicious monsters. At over two hundred calories per serving, you don’t want to stock up on too many of the mashed taters.

Binge This:

Homemade Cranberry Sauce

  • Calories: 87
  • Fat: .1g

What’s more special about the holidays than the yummy side dishes? Cranberry sauce is a great way to be healthy while enjoying a festive, traditional dish. One serving of homemade cranberry sauce is under ninety calories, making this a side dish that you can feel good about.

Not That:

canned cranberry sauce

Canned Cranberry Sauce

  • Calories: 418
  • Fat: 0g

In contrast, the jelly-like sauce in a can have over 400 calories per serving! A good rule of thumb is if the product comes in a can, and retains its canlike shape after serving, it’s probably not the healthiest option on the menu. Skip the perservatives and extra sugar.

Binge This:

Tofurky Roast

  • Calories: 190
  • Fat: 5g

It may sound a little unappealing to those who have never tried it, but tofurky is actually a wonderful main course for a holiday meal. It’s also a fabulous vegetarian option for holiday meals which are typically meat-based, and at less than 200 calories per serving, you can afford to get seconds!

Not That:

Turkey Skin

  • Calories: 482
  • Fat: 44g

While turkey certainly isn’t the worst thing that you could binge on during the holidays, it’s not nearly as good for you as its counterpart, tofurky. The crispy skin of the turkey is the worst part, boasting nearly five hundred calories per serving, and it obviously doesn’t have the vegetarian appeal that tofurky does. Plus: think of the turkey children!

By opting for the healthier choices during your holiday meal, you can be sure that you’ll welcome the new year with a smaller waist size and a larger sense of pride.

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM

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