The Worst Offenders: 16 Holiday Foods You Should Never Eat from The Worst Offenders: 16 Holiday Foods You Should Never Eat

The Worst Offenders: 16 Holiday Foods You Should Never Eat

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The Worst Offenders: 16 Holiday Foods You Should Never Eat

Delicious foods are among the many reasons why so many of us enjoy the holidays. But the truth is that, although many of these foods make your mouth water, they are not the healthiest options.

Some of the most popular holiday drinks such as eggnog, spiced cider and chocolate martinis, contain too many calories; and some of our favorite deserts – cheesecake, pecan pie – will cause damage to your waist line.

*Related: 15, Easy Gym-Free Ways to Stay Fit During the Holidays

Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste; maintain a healthy lifestyle, even if it means avoiding desert and working out a little harder.

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Candy Canes

As tempting as it may be, do your best to stay away from candy canes this holiday season. They are drowning in sugar and lack vitamins and minerals. According to Live Strong, “eating three servings of peppermint candy a day -- or nine pieces -- without reducing your intake of other foods would give you a surplus of 180 calories, leading to about a pound of weight gain every three weeks.”

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Carmel Apples

Although apples are a nutritious snack, adding caramel to them is much less rewarding. The caramel adds plenty of sugar and calories that are sure to put a damper on your weight loss efforts. “A 2.5-ounce serving of caramels contains 271 calories and 5.75 grams of fat, of which 1.75 are saturated,” the nest explains. Too much can increase your risk for heart disease, weight gain and Type 2 diabetes.

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Sugar Cookies

One sugar cookie – 1.6 oz. – contains 220 calories, according to calorieking.com. If you’re trying to maintain your weight this holiday season, these should be avoided at all costs. One sugar cookie has 12g of fat, 15mg of cholesterol, 130mg of sodium and 28g of carbs.

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Creamed Spinach

This popular side, although delicious, should be consumed with caution. According to calorieking.com, 1oz of creamed spinach has 3.3g of fat, 10mg of cholesterol, 84mg of sodium and 1.7g of carbs. You’re better off eating your spinach without the cream.

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Eggnog

This is one of the most popular holiday drinks, but also one of the worst for your waistline. Just 8 fl. oz. contains a whopping 344 calories, according to calorieking.com, 19g of fat, 150mg of cholesterol, 137mg of sodium and 34.5g of carbs.

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Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Spinach and Artichoke Dip contains about 300-400 calories. Try it instead with light cream cheese or reduced fat mayo. Instead of using tortilla chips, use veggies with your dip. One serving of Ruby Tuesday’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip consists of 312 calories, 19g of fat and 26g of carbohydrates.

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Cheese Straws

These party staples look like a harmless snack, but don’t be fooled. Just one cheese straw contains a third of your daily limit for saturated fat. Snack on pretzels or multigrain chips with Rojo’s Salsa instead.

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Gingerbread

Ginger has numerous health benefits, but the truth is that gingerbread should be digested with caution. Just 1 serving – 1.4 oz. – contains 140 calories, 100mg of sodium and 31.6g of carbs, according to calorieking.com. Gingerbread cookies are also a delicious snack to look out for; the butter, flour and icing aren’t worth the damage to your waistline.

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Popcorn Balls

Regular popcorn is okay, it’s a lightweight snack that will hold you over until meal time. Popcorn balls, on the other hand, are glued together with unhealthy amounts of sugar and corn syrup. Stick with plain air-popped popcorn.

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Fruitcake

Just because this popular holiday favorite has the word “fruit” in it doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. Yes, it does contain fruit, but it also has tons of sugar, corn syrup and butter. 3oz. of Hickory Farms Fruitcake has 330 calories, 15g of fat, 3g of saturated fat, 30mg of cholesterol, 160mg of sodium and 45g of carbs, according to calorieking.com. Reach for a slice of pumpkin pie instead.

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Pecan Pie

Made with a good amount of brown sugar and/or corn syrup, this delicious desert may satisfy your sweet tooth, but will also negatively impact your diet. A single slice of Pecan Pie, “prepared from recipe,” contains approximately 503 calories, 320mg of sodium and 63g of carbs.

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Swedish Meatballs

This traditional side is full of heavy cream, butter and white bread. Just 6 pieces of Kroger Swedish Style Meatballs contain 250 calories and 18g of fat. The beef broth can add up to half of your daily recommended sodium intake.

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Cheesecake

This is among the most popular holiday deserts, but caution should be taken. The cream cheese, sugar, salt, eggs, sour cream and whipped cream are what make it delicious, but also what makes it an unhealthy dessert. It is very high in fat and sodium. Cheesecake consists of around 18g of fat, 166mg of sodium and about 20g of carbohydrates.

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Chocolate Martini

Delicious cocktails are sure to get you in the holiday spirit, and while dark chocolate does have numerous health benefits, when you mix it with vodka, chocolate liquor and syrup you’re in for a high-caloric disaster. One chocolate martini has about 300 calories per glass.

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Spiced Cider

Spiced cider is extremely high in sugar. In just one pouch you will consume about 30mg of sodium, 20g of sugar, and 20g of carbohydrates.

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Candied Yams

Serving candied yams at your holiday dinner? Think again. Although sweet potatoes are okay for you, candied yams are detrimental to your diet. You have to add 6 cups of sugar before you even start baking. One serving of candied yams has around 27g of sugar, 66mg of sodium, and 41g of carbohydrates. 

The Worst Offenders: 16 Holiday Foods You Should Never Eat