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Top 12 Christmas Foods You Must Avoid
Many holiday celebrations are centered around food and Christmas is no different. There is nothing wrong with adding a little allure to the season, but your length of time on this earth enjoying future Christmases will greatly increase if you choose to eat wisely during holiday celebrations. Many traditional Christmas treats will do you far more harm than good.
You would think that after we just celebrated Thanksgiving about 4 weeks earlier, everyone would have their fill of fattening, unhealthy foods, but that’s not the case. Christmas tends to bring us even more sugar laden, GMO filled treats that are guaranteed to increase the toxic load on your liver.
Keep reading for the top 12 Christmas foods you should avoid if you want to ring in a healthy, happy New Year.
1. Gingerbread Houses
Yes, they are cute and pretty to look at and although these are popular Christmas traditions, they are not a healthy option. Loaded with sugar, creamy margarine loaded frostings, artificial colors and flavors, this is one you should look at and admire, rather than eat and increase your toxic load. This includes the gingerbread man. Most of these have almost no healthy ginger but plenty of sugar, not to mention, about 300 calories!
Eggnog is probably the drink with the most calories and fat. Basic ingredients are sugar, eggs, bourbon, and whole cream. One glass, just 8 small ounces, has about 400 calories and a whopping 150 grams of artery clogging cholesterol. Skip this one and toast with something healthier instead, such as Almondnog! Made with healthy almond milk, Almondnog is a healthy, low calorie alternative you will love!
3. Yule Log
The most traditional of all Christmas time cakes, yule log is a huge sponge cake filled with fudge and chocolate to make it appear like fire wood. This tradition began in Europe and has now become a part of American tradition. Super high in calories and sugar, this is another one you would be wise to avoid. One serving of this “log” will cost you about 400 calories.
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4. Candy Canes
Candy canes might look very pretty on the Christmas tree, but they are a treat you should skip. If you think you are getting some healthy peppermint, almost all commercially made candy canes contain no peppermint, only artificial flavor. These cause tooth decay, plaque, and can give rise to acid reflux.
5. Christmas Ham
Unless this is an organic, fresh ham, most canned or processed hams contain tons of salt and are simply covered in a sugary/salted glaze. This is another food that greatly increases the acidity of your body and can cause acid reflux. Opt for turkey instead!
6. Fruit Cakes
OK, everyone makes fun of the lowly fruit cake, but perhaps there are plenty of good reasons not to eat one besides the unique taste. In order to keep them from spoiling, all the fruit is candied by “curing” them in heavy, creamy sugary syrup. These easily amp up your cholesterol levels and load up your body with tons of toxic sugar. Also, at about 366 calories for one small piece, this is a lot of calories to pay for something most people say they really don’t’ like anyway. Swap this for some fresh fruit drizzled with real maple syrup or raw, organic honey instead.
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7. Christmas Pudding
For those of you who haven’t tried this, Christmas pudding is made with molasses, candied fruit, brandy, margarine and tons of sugar. With more than 350 calories and 30 grams of sugar, this is a treat you should just pass on when it’s passed around.
8. Christmas Cookies
Depending on the size of the cookie and its ingredients, the average Christmas cookie has about 250 calories and more than 15 grams of fat. Oh, and those tasty little Danish cookies that come in those pretty little tins? Those go in this category, too. Just 4 of those little Danish butter cookies will cost you about 200 calories! If you really get a craving for a crunchy cookie, try a gingersnap instead.
SEE ALSO: 10 Diet Disasters to Avoid When Dining Out
9. Peanut Brittle
Some people might think that peanut brittle is somewhat healthy because it contains peanuts, but for this treat, it’s all about the high fructose corn syrup, tons of sugar, and margarine. Try some roasted chestnuts instead. Everyone sings about these in Christmas carols, but have you ever tried one? Pick up some fresh chestnuts and roast them over an open fire while you sing or listen to Christmas carols and really capture the feeling of the holiday season.
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10. Pecan Pie
This is another one that you might think is OK because it contains healthy pecans, but after those pecans are dipped in a batter of sugar, margarine, and GMO corn, any resemblance to anything healthy has gone out the window. Even a small piece of pecan pie can have 500 calories, 36 grams of sugar, and 40 grams of artery clogging fat.
11. Popcorn Balls
Popcorn balls are sometimes made for Halloween, but most people make them for Christmas. The classic flavors of caramel, butter coated, and cheddar cheese are all rolled up into balls that are about the size of a softball! Unfortunately, popcorn is something many people can eat tons of and never really feel full. Just one serving (about ¾ cup, which isn’t much when talking about something as bulky as popcorn) of caramel corn has about 125 calories. These really are nothing more than popcorn (possibly even GMO popcorn) margarine, and sugar.
12. Chocolate Gift Boxes
Although everyone loves to receive those big, beautifully wrapped 5 pound boxes of chocolate candies, let’s be honest, does anyone need 5 pounds of chocolate? 3 regular pieces will run about 225 calories. Many people who are trying to lose weight try to limit their lunch calories to about 300 calories. Think about it.
No one says you can’t enjoy Christmas, but do it on your own terms. Eat healthy meals and limit yourself to small portions of treats. Add a bit more exercise to your routine to help make up for any extra calories you might consume. There are plenty of healthy alternatives to many of the traditional Christmas foods, check them out online and cook from scratch for the best flavor and the healthiest holiday season ever.