Holiday meals

During the holiday season families tend to gather around the dinner table and often the menu does not support the dieting routines we have maintained throughout the year.

You may feel that you deserve a day to indulge, however, past the festive season, recovery depends on your degree of indulgence.

Here is a list of refined processed foods and holiday meals you want to stay away from this holiday season. Just to ensure this year’s visits to the gym and dieting were worthwhile. These refined, processed foods predispose you to health risks and weight gain.

White bread

You should always insist on 100 percent whole grain rye or wheat bread. White bread does not contain whole grain which is important in preventing diabetes and heart diseases.

To help with weight management and protect against diet-related diseases, men need a daily intake of three or more ounces of whole-grain.

During the holiday fest, stuffing is part of the dinner. The dish consists of bread, butter, and sausage. You need to switch white bread with whole wheat bread and sausage with apples and cranberries.

Generic Peanut butter

It is nice to spread peanut butter on a whole wheat snack, but many brands contain ingredients that lower good cholesterol and raise bad cholesterol levels.

Many people are not aware that when peanut butter is not natural there can be trans fat in it. The presence of trans fats might not be indicated on the label but since the peanut butter is hydrogenated, there are 0.5 grams levels.

Movie Theater Style Popcorns

You may feel safe taking movie’ popcorns because they are not loaded with butter-flavored oil. What you don’t know is that they are loaded with trans fats and butter.

Secondly, while eating you will most likely take more than the recommended amount of 90 calories which is 3 cups. This is a sure reason to avoid them; your body will have more calories than it needs.

Popcorns are healthy and have lots of fibers. Just make sure you choose the right one, with air-popped which you can eat without regrets.

Canned soup

Canned soup has high levels of sodium as high as 800mg per cup. The normal sodium levels in soup are 350 mg per cup. High levels of sodium have a detrimental effect on your health and may result in high blood pressure. Instead of taking canned soup, you are better off taking vegetable or barley flavors.

You may also decide to make your own soup. Using your blender combine avocado, Roma tomatoes, onions, broccoli and sodium-free chicken broth for an easy dinner or lunch.

Traditional Beef jerky

The traditional beef jerky on convenience stores takes a long time to the cabinet stores. It has low protein and calorie levels. The major health risk with beef jerky is that it contains cancer-causing nitrates.

It has high levels of saturated fats that clog arteries as well as high levels of sodium which may lead to high blood pressure. You are better off taking healthy beef jerky.

Look for dried beef products with labels of no nitrate content or artificial flavor. Healthy beef jerky contains up to 12 grams of protein, less sodium, and less saturated fat.

Powdered Coffee Creamer

For those who love black coffee, the use of a creamer may bring the taste of milk. The unfortunate thing is that the creamer contains no calories but puts sugar, salt, and fat into your body.

Instead of the creamer, you can use skim milk, coconut milk or almond milk which is much healthier to consume because of the added nutritious value. The milk gives you some protein water and calcium which the creamer won’t.

Deep-Fried Turkey

Taking anything deep-fried is just inviting trouble. When any food is deep-fried the amount of fat absorbed increases. It increases when the temperature of fat goes too low.

Fat absorption may also be increased by a lot of food stuffed in a single fryer or the food spending a little more time in the fryer.

The fat and trans fat from the deep fry will increase your cholesterol levels and vulnerability to heart diseases. During this holiday season, you better stick to the traditional roasted turkey.


It is better to practice moderation with the gravy because of the juices and fat drippings from the turkey. It has 100 calories from the cornstarch or all-purpose flour used for the texture thickening and 145 grams of sodium and 8 grams of fat.

Switch to low carbohydrates thickeners like oat, barley flour, and whole wheat. This would be healthier than high sugar content jellied cranberries.

Green Bean Casserole

Fried green bean casserole which is a dominant feature during the festive season is crunchy, comforting and creamy no wonder it is a favorite during the festivities.

Loaded with 7 grams of fat and 100 calories it puts you at unnecessary health risk. It also has the cream of mushroom soup which has a lot of salts predisposing you to blood pressure.Try steamed green peas instead.

Cereal bars

On your way to the gym, you may want to stash a few cereal bars in your bag. Just in case you may need one when you are starving later in the day. This is good thinking but a wrong choice.

Some of the cereal bars are loaded with sugar, for example, one cereal bar may contain 30g of sugar. The high sugar levels are unhealthy, and you can instead try hearty bars with ingredients you can see.

Pecan Pie

Pecans are healthy they are rich in fiber and healthy fats. The problem comes when it is mixed with refined carbohydrates, sugar, and butter. A single slice of pecan pie has over 500 calories which will mean you need to visit the gym more to burn those extra calories.

To have a healthy pecan pie use recipes of pecan pie with egg whites, low-fat butter, and light corn syrup.

Beyond avoiding these foods remember to work out regularly, 4 to 5 times a week. Make lunch your biggest meal and always eat in moderation. Live a balanced lifestyle and avoid any diet of the moment.

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