gmhTODAY 23 gmhTODAY Dec Jan 2018 - Page 105

Crystal Hann health WISE Crystal Han is a freelance writer and artist. She graduated from San José State University with a BFA in Animation/Illustration and is an aspiring novelist, currently working on two books. Eat, Drink, and Be Merry the Healthy Way this Holiday Season T he general rule for food is: the better it tastes the worse it is for you. Let’s face it, holiday foods taste amazing. Loaded with fats and sugar, our decadent feasts are a danger zone for our waistlines. But what’s the holiday season without great food? The trick to enjoying the festivities without packing on unwanted pounds is to know which indulgences make the naughty list and which ones are a little nicer. The Main Course Desserts Spirits Turkey — perhaps the trickiest of the holiday main courses, turkey by itself isn’t the worst contender. Six ounces of dark meat with skin is about 350 calories, one turkey leg is around 334 calories, and six ounces of light meat is about 216 calories. But it’s never just the turkey, is it? The real flavor is in those sneaky toppings. Basically the fattiest parts of the bird strained into a liquid with added butter, gravy tacks on around 375 additional calories per cup. Stuffing, another holiday favorite, has about 320 calories per cup. Home- made cranberry sauce has around 209 calories, while the canned varieties have about 86 calories per slice. Pecan Pie — Waistlines beware! Al- though this pie contains nuts, which are full of healthy fats, those health benefits are literally drowned by all of the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and molasses mixed in with them. One slice of pecan pie contains about 503 calories. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’re looking at a whopping 769 calories! Eggnog — What happens when you mix cream, eggs, sugar, and alcohol into a drink? Liquid danger, that’s what. One glass of eggnog has around 343 calories, and it goes down so easy that you might reach for another without a second thought. Prime Rib — comes from the fattest part of the cow. Just one slice can have up to 750 calories and 45 grams of fat. And that’s without any extra sauce or seasoning! Eight ounces of prime rib also has 450 milligrams of cholesterol, which is 100 more that the USDA recommends you consume per day. Ham — the second most popular Christmas dish, actually isn’t as bad as you might think. Six ounces of ham contains about 350 calories. Similar to turkey, the danger is in the glaze, espe- cially if you’re watching your sodium intake, so it’s best not to go wild with it. Roast Beef — if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to something like prime rib, roast beef is a good choice. Two ounces of roast beef, which is about two regular slices, amounts to 70 calories. Apple Pie — like pecan pie, the apples make it seem healthy, but it’s also loaded with sugar and fat. One slice contains around 296 calories, and A La Mode bumps it up to 493. Hot Buttered Rum — With ingredients like butter, rum, and brown sugar, you’re looking at a great tasting drink that sneaks in around 220 to 350 calories. Pumpkin Pie — of all the pies, pumpkin is the healthiest contender, weighing in at around 260 calories. Champagne — Compared to the first two drinks on this list, champagne is fairly tame. One flute is about 133 calories. The catch is that the bubbles in champagne will actually make you tipsy faster than other drinks, so be careful. Holiday Cookies — they seem so small and harmless, but two traditional sugar cookies have about 226 calories, and that’s without all of the decorative frosting. One large gingerbread man cookie is about 340 calories, while the smaller ones are around 160. If you can limit yourself to just one, cookies can be the best dessert choice if you’re looking for a sugar fix without a ton of calories. Wine — As far as holiday spirits go, wine is the best choice. One glass of red or white wine is about 120 calories. Plus you get some resveratrol with it. Don’t let all of this calorie listing ruin your holiday fun. Instead, figure out which foods mean the most to you and which you can do without. If you love pecan pie, go for it! Just try not to go overboard on everything else. Sources: Narins, Elizabeth, “13 Holiday Foods with Insanely High Calorie Counts”, Cosmopolitan, Swanner, Rebecca, “How many calories are in your favorite holiday foods?”, BeachBody On Demand, Duffett, Becky, “The Highest Calorie Holiday Foods”, FitBit, holiday-foods/ GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN december 2018-january 2019 105