From high-cal drinks to fat-laden desserts, it seems so many holiday foods are "forbidden" if you want to maintain your weight. But the fact is, a few of those forbidden foods aren't as fattening as you think, and some bring nutritional benefits we all need! So, if you are tired of hearing about what you should say "no" to, here are four holiday foods you should eat:
Lower-fat cheese offerings have improved greatly over the last few years. Many reduced-fat and fat-free varieties that taste good and won't wreck your calorie budget are now available at most grocers. The fat content of these diet-friendly cheeses has been reduced anywhere from 25 to 100% from their original full-fat counterparts, but they still provide plenty of calcium and help to curb your appetite.
Research shows that enjoying nuts with heart-healthy fats such as walnuts and pecans -- instead of foods high in saturated fat like fried snacks -- at least three times a week could help lower cholesterol. Nuts contain potassium and vitamin E as well as protein and fiber, both of which can help you feel satisfied and prevent overeating.
Remember those commercials that called pork "the other white meat"? Well, that's due to the fact that pork is a lot leaner these days -- 30% leaner to be exact. Pork tenderloin, for instance, is comparable to skinless chicken in fat and calorie content (it has just one more gram of fat per serving); choose loin since it is the leanest cut available, and broil or roast it.
Pump-kin it up.
While pie can't really be chalked up as a health food, when you compare pumpkin pie's nutritional stats to other typical holiday desserts, it's a real calorie bargain with benefits to boot -- pumpkin provides fiber, beta-carotene and vitamins C and E. It has fewer than half the calories of a serving of pecan pie; save even more calories by opting for a crustless version.