Food & Nutrition

13 Holiday Foods That Aren’t Worth the Calories

‘Tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry—with one caveat: Skip these holiday party foods that just aren’t worth the sugar, calories, and pounds they’ll pack on.


Homemade White Holiday Eggnog with a Cinnamon StickBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Eggnog is full of saturated fat, says Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN of Maya Feller Nutrition. That’s mainly because it consists of whole milk and heavy cream. “It also serves up a good dose of sugar, as much as five teaspoons per one cup serving,” Feller adds. Instead of eggnog, she recommends an eggnog latte with a non-dairy base (like almond milk) and no added sugar. Check out more tasty holiday drink recipes here.

Mashed potatoes

Butter Mash PotatoSyafiq Adnan/Shutterstock

This one is a little confusing because, in their natural state, potatoes offer a good variety of nutrients, says Neda Varbanova of Healthy with Nedi, who has a master’s in food studies and is a certified culinary nutritionist, holistic health coach, and recipe creator. But mashed potatoes often come with butter, sour cream, and heavy cream, which adds too much saturated fat to the dish. Varbanova says to try cauliflower mash instead, using Greek yogurt in place of heavy cream and butter.

Glazed ham

roasted pork slices on rustic wooden table, top viewMaraZe/Shutterstock

“Traditional glazed ham can be made with corn syrup, sugar, honey, butter and lots of salt,” says Feller. “One serving can contain as much as 1,230 mg, of sodium, and that’s almost half of your day’s allotment.” For a low-sodium swap, roast or slow cook a fresh pork butt and use vinegar in place of salt. Season well with garlic, onion, herbs, and even some fresh-squeezed orange juice for a hint of sweetness recommends Feller. Find out 15 ingredients nutritionists would never cook with.

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