Holiday Eating: Eat This, Not That from Holiday Eating: Eat This, Not That

Holiday Eating: Eat This, Not That

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Holiday Eating: Eat This, Not That

This is the time of the year to try tasty foods and not feel guilty about it. Studies show that a person puts on about a pound during the holidays, but if you’re not careful you can gain more. Special dishes for Christmas and New Year parties are delicious but also very tricky.

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Eat this: Oven-roasted potatoes

One medium-size potato with the peel contains about 110 calories and more potassium than a banana, and other healthy nutrients that keep you full for longer. It contains no fat, sodium, or cholesterol. The skin is high in fiber which makes it filling and nutritious as well. Make this meal delicious by adding a few herbs and olive oil.

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Not that: Stuffed potato

The potato itself is a great natural source of vitamins B and C. So why do you have to go and add butter, sour cream and cheese? Now all of a sudden, your potato has at least 280 calories and 15 grams of fat, more than half of which is saturated fat.

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Eat this: Fresh salads

The best salads include multiple types of salad leaves – the richer the color, generally the more nutrients packed into the leaves – topped with grains, beans and proteins, such as hard boiled eggs or shredded chicken.

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Not that: Coleslaw

If you think that a coleslaw salad is better than fries so you make the “sacrifice” and order it, think again. It has carrots and cabbage, all of which is covered in a fatty mayonnaise. A single cup of it contains as many as 280 calories, 190 of which are fat, according to CalorieKing.

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Eat this: Dark chocolate

This sweet treat will even help you relax. The theobromine it contains has been shown to produce a happy feeling. It increases blood flow and reduces feelings of anxiety and stress. Also, cocoa contains immune-boosting antioxidants that likely play a role in supporting cardiovascular health.

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Not that: Candy canes

A 6-inch peppermint candy cane alone has 60 calories – all carbs. One delicious cane has 14 grams of carbs, all of which are pure sugar. These sweets don’t offer any nourishment so why use up your recommended daily calorie intake on them? If you are craving the peppermint flavor of candy canes, add a couple drops of peppermint essential oil to your water.

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Eat this: Gingerbread cookies

For a healthier option, try using regular milk instead of buttermilk, and substitute white vinegar for milk. Other possible substitutions include swapping coconut sugar for brown sugar and whole wheat pastry flour for all-purpose.

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Not that: Cinnamon rolls

Eat a single one of them and add about an hour or two to your workout routine to get your cholesterol levels back on track. They can contain so much fat; it’s almost the amount of an entire meal. A classic Cinnabon has about 800 calories. That’s about as many as in a Big Mac. In comparison, a Starbucks cinnamon scone has 530 calories and 26 grams of fat.

Eat this: Bean-based pasta

Go for pastas made from organic beans, lentils, and peas because they are packed with protein, iron, and fiber. For example, Explore Cuisine’s black bean Spaghetti’s only ingredients are Organic Black beans and water, and it literally tastes as delicious as pasta but is more filling, satisfying, and nutritious.

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Not that: White pasta

“White” pasta is made using mostly refined wheat flour. When the germ and bran are removed during the refining process, most of the fiber is removed as well. The same process also removes iron and many of the B vitamins that are found naturally in whole wheat, according to Livestrong.com.

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Eat this: Hummus

Veggies on a stick with a side of hummus are a great balance of micronutrients, protein and good quality, monounsaturated fat. Hummus has a high content of vitamin B6 and tryptophan, which are crucial for regular sleep patterns.

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Not that: Spinach and artichoke dip

A single side of creamed spinach (6.03 oz.) contains 260 calories and 21 grams of fat, 12 are saturated fat which is 60 percent of the recommended daily value. This delicious dip ranks badly in the sodium category, too.

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Eat this: Fresh fruit

Satisfy your sweet tooth by choosing desserts that include fresh fruit. Fruits add essential nutrients to diets, reduce the risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and help manage healthy body weight. Add ricotta cheese, a good source of protein, for extra flavor.

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Not that: Caramel apples

These delicious temptations are everywhere this time of year. But the caramel sauce is what makes this treat unhealthy. It is pure sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. This increases the calorie count to about 330 and 16 grams of fat per apple.

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Eat this: Black bean chips

You are going to have appetizers on the table, so you might as well provide healthy options. Chips made with black beans provide more protein and fiber. This alternative will help you feel fuller for longer as well, so you don’t overeat before the main meal.

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Not that: Crackers

Crackers are low in fiber but high in sodium. They don’t have a big nutritional value and provide no energy. Some baked crackers even have high fructose corn syrup added to them during processing. You can buy whole wheat and high in fiber crackers. Read the labels and make sure you’re not getting the wrong kind.

Holiday Eating: Eat This, Not That