Baked Brie from Eggnog, Fruitcake, Fondue, and More: The 15 Unhealthiest Holiday Foods Slideshow
Eggnog, Fruitcake, Fondue, and More: The 15 Unhealthiest Holiday Foods Slideshow
A wheel of creamy Brie encased in a layer of puffed pastry and quickly baked it the oven is a luxurious holiday appetizer that needs to be approached with discipline. Almost all of its calories are derived from saturated fat, with a two-ounce serving of baked Brie containing 250 calories and 19 grams of fat — around one third of your recommended daily allowance.
Canned Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries are very tart and require a lot of sugar to make them palatable, but canned cranberry sauce takes it to the extreme. A quarter cup of Ocean Spray’s Jellied Cranberry Sauce contains 24 grams of sugar, 110 calories, and no beneficial nutrients. Cranberry sauce is still an integral part of the Thanksgiving meal, so try making a healthier homemade version that uses ginger and pear.
Oh, the infamous cheese ball: The retro appetizer whose unique combination of flavors, textures, and appearance has kept it relevant at holiday parties. Though there are numerous variations, the standard ingredients are cream cheese, some form of chopped nuts, and an herbal component such as parsley or diced scallion. Often accompanied by a platter of Ritz crackers, the cheese ball is pure fat and calories. Approach this one with caution, if at all.
Standard cheese fondue is made with shredded cheese such as Swiss or Gruyère, white wine, and all-purpose flour. Most of the calories from the cheese fondue are derived from saturated fat, but this dish can get even more caloric depending on what foods are dipped into it.
As if the holidays weren’t indulgent enough, you can even get tipsy while satisfying your sweet tooth. One shot of Godiva Chocolate Liqueur contains 103 calories and 11 grams of sugar: Pour in an additional shot of vodka and some chocolate syrup, and you could be sipping on a 300-calorie cocktail.
Researchers have taken a second look at egg yolks and have concluded that they don’t need to be avoided (unless you have a history of high cholesterol). However, when mixed in with cups of mayonnaise, they move again into the unhealthy sphere.
The holiday season allows you to not only eat copious amounts of fat and calories, but to drink them as well. The ingredients in eggnog are similar to a milkshake and include whipped eggs, cream, milk, sugar, and if you’re over the age of 21, alcohol. Four ounces of the conventional, store-bought stuff contains 170 calories (half of them from fat), and more than 70 milligrams of cholesterol.
Fruitcake has reached cult status as an infamous holiday gift. The dense cake made with sugar-soaked, and dried fruit has a long history, but that doesn’t make it any healthier.
It’s got pig, it’s got butter, it’s got sodium; the glazed holiday ham is the Holy Trinity of clogged arteries. Have a serving during Christmas, but remember that you’re taking in a lot of sodium, sugar, and fat, which can contribute to increased blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Potatoes can be nutritious, too, when steamed or baked, but when they're mashed and loaded with milk and butter, their calorie count hits 237 per cup. The most healthful part of the potato is the skin, which is often removed before mashing.
This is one holiday food that dentists recommend avoiding at all costs. The crunchy dessert is made with corn syrup, sugar, and butter, and contains an average of 138 calories per one-ounce serving with more than 30 percent of those calories derived from fat.
Nothing says Thanksgiving like pecan pie, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s high in sugar and empty calories (and doctors recommend skipping it). According to Livestrong.com, an average slice of pecan pie contains 541 calories, 33 grams of sugar, and almost no fiber.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Don’t be fooled by the name with two vegetables: This classic appetizer is one of the unhealthiest things you can put in your mouth. The dip’s foundation is usually some combination of mayonnaise, cream cheese, and sour cream — ingredients that are all high in saturated fat.
Traditional Thanksgiving stuffing calls for a mixture of dried bread, onions, celery, giblets, and seasoning to be stuffed into the cavity of the turkey before it’s put in the oven. The white bread often used in stuffing absorbs a lot of the fat from the bird, adding to an already nutritionally barren side dish.