Holiday Foodie Finds

With Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, it is getting harder to eat healthfully. We are continuously finding ourselves surrounded by more and more by decadent desserts, buttery mashed potatoes, and endless amount of carbs. Although it is okay to splurge a little bit during the holidays, it is important to still know what we are consuming. Whether or not you choose to avoid them entirely, here are some of the foods to look out for this holiday season.

1.     Stuffing 

Although stuffing is very tasty,  it is typically loaded with high amounts of butter and fat meats. A single scoop of stuffing could have up to 550 calories. If you must eat some stuffing during the holiday season, try to avoid large amounts of it. Or to make stuffing with less calories, replace butter with low-sodium chicken broth, and skip the meat. You could even try to make wild rice stuffing to be even healthier.

2.     Prime Rib

Prime rib comes from the fattest part of the cow, which allows one piece to reach up to 750 calories with 45 grams of fat. If you are wanting to have beef in your holiday meal, the better option is beef tenderloins. Unlike prime rib, beef tenderloins have a quarter of the calories. Other healthier meat options include lean turkey or grilled chicken.

3.     Candied Sweet Potatoes

With brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows all in one dish – you can easily guess this isn’t one of your healthier options. About half of one serving of sweet potatoes casserole can have up to 400 calories, with tons of sugar included. Plain sweet potato is the better alternative. Sweet potatoes are pretty healthy as it is, and they will be less caloric than a sweet potatoes casserole.

4.     Pecan Pie

We all know pecan pie is one of the best holiday desserts out there. After all, who doesn’t like a sweet, crunchy, flakey piece of pie with vanilla ice cream? However, this is one the desserts to try and stay away from. Pecan pie is full of corn syrup, butter, and sugar, which can quickly add up in the calories department. One piece of pecan pie can reach up to 500-800 calories. If you absolutely can’t pass it up, stay away from eating the crust to cut down some of the calories.

5.     Buttered Mashed Potatoes

Besides the turkey, mashed potatoes are by far one of the most common holiday foods we indulge in at our Thanksgiving day feast.  One cup of mashed potatoes made with whole milk and butter can add up to 238 calories, and we all know we can each eat quite a few servings of some buttery mashed potatoes, so the calories quickly add up! Try indulging in mashed potatoes made with skim milk instead of whole milk, and try to avoid the extra servings!

We all deserve a bit of indulgence during the holidays, but it is nice to be aware of ways to make the meal healthier. There are easy options to swap in healthier ingredients to make even our most unhealthy treats better for our diets. And of course, if you just eat in moderation, you won’t have to worry about a thing this holiday season. 

University of Kansas Journalism School Student

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