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The Unhealthiest Foods at Holiday Buffets

The Unhealthiest Foods at Holiday Buffets

Don’t let the large amounts of unhealthy food sway you

As if holiday foods were not enough to encourage weight gain, think about having unlimited access to these foods at a buffet. When there is no monetary reason for having a smaller portion, the flood gates open up and you fill your plate to the brim, with not an inch available for another bite.We spoke with Stacey Morgenstern and Carey Peters, healthy living experts and founders of the Health Coach Institute, about healthy holiday tips to prevent you from overdoing it when the buffet is tempting you. Before you head to the party, make sure that you are mentally prepared.

The Unhealthiest Foods at Holiday Buffets

As if holiday foods were not enough to encourage weight gain, think about having unlimited access to these foods at a buffet. Before you head to the party, make sure that you are mentally prepared.

Cheese Plate

“Rich, creamy cheeses that are often featured on the holiday cheese plate typically are laden with fat and high in cholesterol,” said Morgenstern Peters. “Add to that the crackers and breads that you use as a base and you’ve consumed almost an entire meal’s worth of calories in a few bites! If you have to indulge, try to limit yourself to one bite, but top a piece of fruit like a sliced apple or vegetable like a cucumber round instead.”

Chocolate Santas or Hanukkah Gelt

“More often found at the kids table, these chocolate treats are packed with sugar and will guarantee a kiddie-crash later,” they said. “Try to limit consumption to one piece, or make a sweet bargain. A pudding-like mixture of whipped avocado and cacao gives the same chocolate-fix with some added health benefits.”

Cranberry Sauce

“While cranberries do have serious antioxidants and other health benefits, the sauces commonly found on the buffet tables are loaded with sugar,” they said. “If you need to get your fix, try tossing a few cranberries in your salad instead.”

Creamy Salad Dressings

“The crudite is a great choice on the holiday buffet, but when you’re dipping those carrot and celery sticks in blue cheese or ranch dressing, the calories start to climb,” they said. “Instead, look for a lemon wedge and drizzle of olive oil for a boost of flavor, or better yet, eat them plain!”

Dark Turkey Meat with Skin

“Basted, often butter-covered, skin-on a turkey can taste pretty good, but when it’s covering the already higher in calories dark-meat turkey, it can be a less than healthy choice,” they said. “Try to stick to skinless white meat portions, or at the very least take off the skin, which cuts the calorie count significantly.”

Eggnog

“A Holiday staple, eggnog is seriously delicious,” they said. “But it comes with a hefty amount of calories and saturated fat — around 280 calories and nine grams of fat, to be more precise. If you want a festive treat, opt for a white wine spritzer or a festive vodka soda with a splash of cranberry to get you in the holiday spirit.”

Fried Foods

“This is a no brainer: Avoid anything on the table that has been deep fried,” they said. “Chicken fingers, coconut shrimp, and other foods that have been dredged in breading and cooked in oil are never going to be good for your heart, body, or waistline. If you’re after a little crunch, seek out options that are lightly coated in gluten-free breadcrumbs and baked instead.”

Mixed Nuts

“A small portion of nuts can be a smart way to grab protein on the go, but when they’re out at a cocktail party you may find yourself having five times the recommended serving without even realizing,” they said. “Because the nuts are high in fat and calories, these little snacks can add up quickly. Try to be mindful while you’re at a party, and avoid snacking just to fill time. Instead, seek out a friend to talk with.”

Salami

Processed meats have been getting a lot of buzz lately due to their unhealthy and potentially cancer-causing characteristics,” they said. “Add to that the fact that these snacks are often high in salt and fat and you’ll find more than one reason to stay away! If you’re craving a manly meaty snack, stick to a piece of lean and preferably grilled meat instead. It will have double the flavor with less of the sodium.”

Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread cookies seem to melt in your mouth, but that is in part due to the high butter content, not to mention all of the white flour,” they said. “Skip these and satisfy your sweet craving instead with a baked apple topped with cinnamon.”


Holiday Foods You Didn't Know Were Bad For You

Staying healthy during the holidays is no easy feat. You know to steer clear of the cocktails and gooey pies. You won't go near the construction site of a gingerbread house, but despite your best efforts, you still seem to head into New Year's with the resolution of fitting back into your pre-Thanksgiving jeans. How did this happen without indulging in a single holiday cookie? The truth is, many classic holiday dishes are packed with hidden calories or unhealthy fats you didn't know were there. Here's a list of some of the sneakiest contenders.

Yams in their purest form are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. However, if you forgo actual yams and instead go with cans to simplify your already-busy holiday cooking schedule, they are often full of sugary syrup. Gisela Bouvier, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of B Nutrition and Wellness, warns us, "The addition of the syrup alone adds sugar and calories to the yams themselves. On top of that, most holiday yam recipes will include brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows. All of these ingredients will add additional sugar, fat, and calories to just one of your side dishes. A 1/2 cup serving of candied yams will add about 250 calories, 10g of sugar, and 6g of fat to your holiday meal."

Instead of mashed yams with loads of butter and sugary marshmallows, opt for a healthier dish, such as these hasselback sweet potatoes.


Holiday Foods You Didn't Know Were Bad For You

Staying healthy during the holidays is no easy feat. You know to steer clear of the cocktails and gooey pies. You won't go near the construction site of a gingerbread house, but despite your best efforts, you still seem to head into New Year's with the resolution of fitting back into your pre-Thanksgiving jeans. How did this happen without indulging in a single holiday cookie? The truth is, many classic holiday dishes are packed with hidden calories or unhealthy fats you didn't know were there. Here's a list of some of the sneakiest contenders.

Yams in their purest form are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. However, if you forgo actual yams and instead go with cans to simplify your already-busy holiday cooking schedule, they are often full of sugary syrup. Gisela Bouvier, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of B Nutrition and Wellness, warns us, "The addition of the syrup alone adds sugar and calories to the yams themselves. On top of that, most holiday yam recipes will include brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows. All of these ingredients will add additional sugar, fat, and calories to just one of your side dishes. A 1/2 cup serving of candied yams will add about 250 calories, 10g of sugar, and 6g of fat to your holiday meal."

Instead of mashed yams with loads of butter and sugary marshmallows, opt for a healthier dish, such as these hasselback sweet potatoes.


Holiday Foods You Didn't Know Were Bad For You

Staying healthy during the holidays is no easy feat. You know to steer clear of the cocktails and gooey pies. You won't go near the construction site of a gingerbread house, but despite your best efforts, you still seem to head into New Year's with the resolution of fitting back into your pre-Thanksgiving jeans. How did this happen without indulging in a single holiday cookie? The truth is, many classic holiday dishes are packed with hidden calories or unhealthy fats you didn't know were there. Here's a list of some of the sneakiest contenders.

Yams in their purest form are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. However, if you forgo actual yams and instead go with cans to simplify your already-busy holiday cooking schedule, they are often full of sugary syrup. Gisela Bouvier, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of B Nutrition and Wellness, warns us, "The addition of the syrup alone adds sugar and calories to the yams themselves. On top of that, most holiday yam recipes will include brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows. All of these ingredients will add additional sugar, fat, and calories to just one of your side dishes. A 1/2 cup serving of candied yams will add about 250 calories, 10g of sugar, and 6g of fat to your holiday meal."

Instead of mashed yams with loads of butter and sugary marshmallows, opt for a healthier dish, such as these hasselback sweet potatoes.


Holiday Foods You Didn't Know Were Bad For You

Staying healthy during the holidays is no easy feat. You know to steer clear of the cocktails and gooey pies. You won't go near the construction site of a gingerbread house, but despite your best efforts, you still seem to head into New Year's with the resolution of fitting back into your pre-Thanksgiving jeans. How did this happen without indulging in a single holiday cookie? The truth is, many classic holiday dishes are packed with hidden calories or unhealthy fats you didn't know were there. Here's a list of some of the sneakiest contenders.

Yams in their purest form are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. However, if you forgo actual yams and instead go with cans to simplify your already-busy holiday cooking schedule, they are often full of sugary syrup. Gisela Bouvier, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of B Nutrition and Wellness, warns us, "The addition of the syrup alone adds sugar and calories to the yams themselves. On top of that, most holiday yam recipes will include brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows. All of these ingredients will add additional sugar, fat, and calories to just one of your side dishes. A 1/2 cup serving of candied yams will add about 250 calories, 10g of sugar, and 6g of fat to your holiday meal."

Instead of mashed yams with loads of butter and sugary marshmallows, opt for a healthier dish, such as these hasselback sweet potatoes.


Holiday Foods You Didn't Know Were Bad For You

Staying healthy during the holidays is no easy feat. You know to steer clear of the cocktails and gooey pies. You won't go near the construction site of a gingerbread house, but despite your best efforts, you still seem to head into New Year's with the resolution of fitting back into your pre-Thanksgiving jeans. How did this happen without indulging in a single holiday cookie? The truth is, many classic holiday dishes are packed with hidden calories or unhealthy fats you didn't know were there. Here's a list of some of the sneakiest contenders.

Yams in their purest form are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. However, if you forgo actual yams and instead go with cans to simplify your already-busy holiday cooking schedule, they are often full of sugary syrup. Gisela Bouvier, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of B Nutrition and Wellness, warns us, "The addition of the syrup alone adds sugar and calories to the yams themselves. On top of that, most holiday yam recipes will include brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows. All of these ingredients will add additional sugar, fat, and calories to just one of your side dishes. A 1/2 cup serving of candied yams will add about 250 calories, 10g of sugar, and 6g of fat to your holiday meal."

Instead of mashed yams with loads of butter and sugary marshmallows, opt for a healthier dish, such as these hasselback sweet potatoes.


Holiday Foods You Didn't Know Were Bad For You

Staying healthy during the holidays is no easy feat. You know to steer clear of the cocktails and gooey pies. You won't go near the construction site of a gingerbread house, but despite your best efforts, you still seem to head into New Year's with the resolution of fitting back into your pre-Thanksgiving jeans. How did this happen without indulging in a single holiday cookie? The truth is, many classic holiday dishes are packed with hidden calories or unhealthy fats you didn't know were there. Here's a list of some of the sneakiest contenders.

Yams in their purest form are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. However, if you forgo actual yams and instead go with cans to simplify your already-busy holiday cooking schedule, they are often full of sugary syrup. Gisela Bouvier, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of B Nutrition and Wellness, warns us, "The addition of the syrup alone adds sugar and calories to the yams themselves. On top of that, most holiday yam recipes will include brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows. All of these ingredients will add additional sugar, fat, and calories to just one of your side dishes. A 1/2 cup serving of candied yams will add about 250 calories, 10g of sugar, and 6g of fat to your holiday meal."

Instead of mashed yams with loads of butter and sugary marshmallows, opt for a healthier dish, such as these hasselback sweet potatoes.


Holiday Foods You Didn't Know Were Bad For You

Staying healthy during the holidays is no easy feat. You know to steer clear of the cocktails and gooey pies. You won't go near the construction site of a gingerbread house, but despite your best efforts, you still seem to head into New Year's with the resolution of fitting back into your pre-Thanksgiving jeans. How did this happen without indulging in a single holiday cookie? The truth is, many classic holiday dishes are packed with hidden calories or unhealthy fats you didn't know were there. Here's a list of some of the sneakiest contenders.

Yams in their purest form are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. However, if you forgo actual yams and instead go with cans to simplify your already-busy holiday cooking schedule, they are often full of sugary syrup. Gisela Bouvier, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of B Nutrition and Wellness, warns us, "The addition of the syrup alone adds sugar and calories to the yams themselves. On top of that, most holiday yam recipes will include brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows. All of these ingredients will add additional sugar, fat, and calories to just one of your side dishes. A 1/2 cup serving of candied yams will add about 250 calories, 10g of sugar, and 6g of fat to your holiday meal."

Instead of mashed yams with loads of butter and sugary marshmallows, opt for a healthier dish, such as these hasselback sweet potatoes.


Holiday Foods You Didn't Know Were Bad For You

Staying healthy during the holidays is no easy feat. You know to steer clear of the cocktails and gooey pies. You won't go near the construction site of a gingerbread house, but despite your best efforts, you still seem to head into New Year's with the resolution of fitting back into your pre-Thanksgiving jeans. How did this happen without indulging in a single holiday cookie? The truth is, many classic holiday dishes are packed with hidden calories or unhealthy fats you didn't know were there. Here's a list of some of the sneakiest contenders.

Yams in their purest form are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. However, if you forgo actual yams and instead go with cans to simplify your already-busy holiday cooking schedule, they are often full of sugary syrup. Gisela Bouvier, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of B Nutrition and Wellness, warns us, "The addition of the syrup alone adds sugar and calories to the yams themselves. On top of that, most holiday yam recipes will include brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows. All of these ingredients will add additional sugar, fat, and calories to just one of your side dishes. A 1/2 cup serving of candied yams will add about 250 calories, 10g of sugar, and 6g of fat to your holiday meal."

Instead of mashed yams with loads of butter and sugary marshmallows, opt for a healthier dish, such as these hasselback sweet potatoes.


Holiday Foods You Didn't Know Were Bad For You

Staying healthy during the holidays is no easy feat. You know to steer clear of the cocktails and gooey pies. You won't go near the construction site of a gingerbread house, but despite your best efforts, you still seem to head into New Year's with the resolution of fitting back into your pre-Thanksgiving jeans. How did this happen without indulging in a single holiday cookie? The truth is, many classic holiday dishes are packed with hidden calories or unhealthy fats you didn't know were there. Here's a list of some of the sneakiest contenders.

Yams in their purest form are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. However, if you forgo actual yams and instead go with cans to simplify your already-busy holiday cooking schedule, they are often full of sugary syrup. Gisela Bouvier, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of B Nutrition and Wellness, warns us, "The addition of the syrup alone adds sugar and calories to the yams themselves. On top of that, most holiday yam recipes will include brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows. All of these ingredients will add additional sugar, fat, and calories to just one of your side dishes. A 1/2 cup serving of candied yams will add about 250 calories, 10g of sugar, and 6g of fat to your holiday meal."

Instead of mashed yams with loads of butter and sugary marshmallows, opt for a healthier dish, such as these hasselback sweet potatoes.


Holiday Foods You Didn't Know Were Bad For You

Staying healthy during the holidays is no easy feat. You know to steer clear of the cocktails and gooey pies. You won't go near the construction site of a gingerbread house, but despite your best efforts, you still seem to head into New Year's with the resolution of fitting back into your pre-Thanksgiving jeans. How did this happen without indulging in a single holiday cookie? The truth is, many classic holiday dishes are packed with hidden calories or unhealthy fats you didn't know were there. Here's a list of some of the sneakiest contenders.

Yams in their purest form are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. However, if you forgo actual yams and instead go with cans to simplify your already-busy holiday cooking schedule, they are often full of sugary syrup. Gisela Bouvier, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of B Nutrition and Wellness, warns us, "The addition of the syrup alone adds sugar and calories to the yams themselves. On top of that, most holiday yam recipes will include brown sugar, butter, and marshmallows. All of these ingredients will add additional sugar, fat, and calories to just one of your side dishes. A 1/2 cup serving of candied yams will add about 250 calories, 10g of sugar, and 6g of fat to your holiday meal."

Instead of mashed yams with loads of butter and sugary marshmallows, opt for a healthier dish, such as these hasselback sweet potatoes.