With the holidays quickly approaching, now is the time to start thinking about what type of foods we should be consuming during those times. The holiday season is easily known as one of the hardest times of the year to stay on track with your diet. However, with making some slight changes in food choices we can help ourselves stay more on track. With all of that being said, here are some of the top 5 foods that we should try and stay away from this coming holiday season.
1. Canned Cranberry Sauce
This is a big staple item at most thanksgiving meals, yet it is something that will send our diet down the drain real quick. Canned cranberry sauce is high in fructose corn syrup, which basically means that it is a food that is really high in sugar. In one ¼ cup serving of canned cranberry sauce there is about 22 grams of sugar, which is the equivalent of about 6 tsp of sugar in a single serving. This high amount of sugar is something that will cause our insulin levels to quickly spike. This quick spike in our insulin levels will then cause our body to increase its fat storage.
2. Candied Yams
This is a food item that can sometimes be mistaken for being healthy since it’s made from sweet potatoes, which are a superfood. However, candied yams are far from healthy for you. Candied yams contain about 6 cups of sugar, which equals about 30-40 grams of sugar per serving. That is slightly over the recommended daily amount of sugar for women, and just under the recommended daily amount for men. Just like with the canned cranberry sauce, such a high amount of sugar will cause our insulin levels to rapidly spike.
3. Green Bean Casserole
This is another dish that is fairly popular among most holiday gatherings, yet it is something that provides us with little benefit nutritionally. Despite the main ingredient being green beans, all of the other ingredients quickly turn this dish unhealthy. The reason for this is because both the canned soup and the fried onions are both processed foods. This means that they contain high levels of both sodium and fat. In fact, the amount of sodium in green bean casserole is twice the recommended amount of daily sodium you are supposed to consume.
4. Loaded Potatoes
When most people pick up a potato to eat it they think that they are making a good choice. Which in most situations is the case. However, once we start adding ingredients onto our potatoes to make them into a loaded potato that’s when things start to go downhill nutritionally. During gatherings, especially during the holidays, most of the potatoes we eat tend to be loaded. This means that we add things such as cheese, sour cream, bacon, etc. By adding these things onto our potato we are not only adding more calories to an already calorie dense food, but we are also adding unnecessary calories at that. A loaded baked potato can easily be well over 500 calories, as well as being high in sodium levels. Add that onto your already full plate at thanksgiving time, and you have a food coma just waiting to happen.
Eggnog is a holiday favorite of many people seeing as it’s usually only prominent during the holiday season. This is another one of those holiday favorites that don’t provide us many benefits when we look at it from a nutritional standpoint. Eggnog is high in cholesterol and one serving has about 50% of our daily cholesterol value. So by drinking just two glasses of eggnog you will already be over your daily allotted cholesterol amount. On top of being high in cholesterol, eggnog is also high in both saturated fat and in sugar. One glass contains 11 grams of saturated fat and just over 20 grams of sugar. All of this can bring one glass of eggnog up to a total of 340 calories.
As you can see, some of our holiday favorites might have some hidden secrets that you weren’t fully aware of. Most of them tend to be really high in sodium levels, as well as sugar. With having such high amounts of both sugar and sodium, this is going to cause our blood glucose levels to spike quickly as well as cause our blood pressure to go up. This is why we tend to find ourselves feeling tired and just unmotivated to do anything after we eat. While we can get away with having small amounts of one or two of these well-known holiday foods on our plates, we can find ourselves quickly getting into trouble once we have multiples of these foods.
The key to eating during the holidays is to be able to know what you’re putting into your body, and how much of that you are putting in there. In addition to that, knowing other options for some of our holiday favorites can also benefit us. Follow along with us for the post next week to find out some healthier options for our holiday favorites.
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