Temas Especiales

31 de Oct de 2020

Nacional

The worst holiday foods

PANAMA. From the uncle known for his sparkling Santa Claus sweater (we all have one) to your neighbor's flamboyant light display, the h...

PANAMA. From the uncle known for his sparkling Santa Claus sweater (we all have one) to your neighbor's flamboyant light display, the holiday season is a time of unapologetic excess. And nowhere is the spirit of surplus seen more clearly than in our yuletide eating habits. In fact, studies show the average person consumes an extra 600 calories a day between Thanksgiving and New Year's, which translates to an extra six pounds of belly fat heading into 2009.

Whether your weakness is mayo-spiked deviled eggs or rum-spiked egg nog, there are more than enough temptations to go around in these merry times. And while everybody is entitled to a bit of indulgence during the holidays, there's a fine line between festive and fattening.

To help you better understand that line, we've pinpointed the very worst of the season's eatings and suggested some satisfying alternatives that should make your New Year's resolution a little easier to attain. You don't have to diet. You don't have to deprive yourself. Just resolve to make healthier choices.

WORST CLASSIC HOLIDAY DRINK

Egg Nog

350 calories

19 g fat

22 g sugars

With or without added liquor, it's no surprise egg nog is on the "naughty" list: the primary ingredients are milk, cream, and eggs. Hot chocolate is just as tasty with nearly one-third of the calories. (But beware, cups of hot chocolate from national outlets like Starbucks and Caribou Coffee can be twice as treacherous as the homemade version.)

Drink this instead:

Hot Chocolate

120 calories

4 g fat

15 g sugars

WORST APPETIZER

Crab Cake

400 calories

19 g fat

This is what happens when poor, defenseless crab is bound in mayo, rolled in breadcrumbs, and dropped into a vat of bubbling fat: you end up with a single, calamitous cake that packs more calories than three dozen shrimp. (As bad as it may be, it has nothing on some of the appetizers being served at chain restaurants all year long.) Opt for the crustacean cocktail, but keep your dipping under wraps; most cocktail sauces are light in calories, but loaded with sodium.

Eat this instead:

Shrimp Cocktail (12 shrimp)

165 calories

1 g fat

WORST COCKTAIL

Gin and Tonic

210 calories

22 g sugars

You may be shocked to see the light-tasting G&T on this list, but the sad truth is that tonic water contains more than 20 grams of sugar per 8-oz serving, making it nothing more than a glorified 7 Up. Champagne is just as bubbly but contains only one-fourth of the sugar-plus, you can't look classier than you do holding a champagne flute, right?

Drink this instead:

Champagne

100 calories

5 g sugars

WORST SNACK

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

285 calories

17 g fat (11 g saturated)

Looking at your Aunt Debbie's recipe for spinach and artichoke dip, you might get confused. Aside from, well, spinach and artichokes, the ingredient list reads like a roll call of the worst offenders out there: mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese, not to mention whatever other cheeses Deb likes to throw in to make it hers. And that's without the chips or hulking hunks of bread. Limit yourself to one chip's worth and fill the rest of your snack plate with something healthier, like the classic Italian appetizer, prosciutto-wrapped melon balls.

Eat this instead:

Melon Balls in Prosciutto

100 calories

7 g fat (2 g saturated)

WORST ENTRÉE

Prime Rib

750 calories

45 g fat

The only thing prime about the prime rib is the price you pay for eating it. This coveted holiday cut comes from one of the fattiest parts of the cow, which explains the thick rim of greasy stuff you must saw through to get to the meat. Beef tenderloin is just as tasty with just a small fraction of the calories and fat.

Eat this instead:

Beef Tenderloin

165 calories

7 g fat (3 g saturated)

WORST DESSERT

Pecan Pie a la Mode

810 calories

65 g fat

55 g sugars

In the wide world of holiday pies, nothing is worse than a slice of pecan. True, some of the fat is healthy fat from the nuts. Most of these calories, though, come from the filling, which is a sickly-sweet sludge of corn syrup and sugar. Fondue, in comparison, is a fun and relatively healthy way to splurge after a big meal. Angel food cake makes an ideal dipper: light, low in calories, and-because it's made with egg whites-virtually fat-free. Use fruit instead and you'll save even more calories.

Eat this instead:

Chocolate Fondue

340 calories

10 g fat

28 g sugars

Let the good eating begin!