After devoting an entire day to sheer gluttony in the form of a Thanksgiving Day feast, you would think that most people would be quick to get back on track with their dieting and exercise. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are multiple reasons for holiday weight gain, which can easily be attributed to Thanksgiving festivities coupled with the Christmas delicacies that soon follow. Want to know what these naughty Christmas foods are? Well, here are 10 for starters (in no particular order):
Fruitcake is a classic staple of the holiday season, and while its moniker may lead one to think it is a healthier option for dessert, it definitely isn’t. First of all, the only fruits found in fruitcake are candied fruits, meaning they are made in sugar syrup. Top that with rich butter and the optional, though commonly used, ingredient of alcohol, and you’ve got yourself something that’s far from healthy.
There is a reason why a house made of gingerbread, frosting and candy should only exist in a fairytale – it’s because it’s a house made from gingerbread, frosting and candy! While this classic, holiday tradition is a favorite amongst the kiddies, it’s probably not the healthiest snack option. If you and your kids can’t bear the thought of missing out on the gumdrop roof top and the candy cane fence this holiday season, then the least you can do is look for healthier ingredients like trail mix and dried fruit.
Most people are familiar with the Christmas cookies in the shape of Christmas trees, reindeer and other fun, holiday objects. What they’re not familiar with is the calories, sugar and fat loaded into those buttery, frosting-coated snacks. Oh, and those Danish butter cookies that everyone is so familiar with also belong in this category as well, so no cheating.
While many people aren’t exactly sure when and why the giant popcorn bin became a Christmas tradition, they’re definitely used to seeing it around the holidays. The classic tri-flavors of cheddar, caramel and butter coated popcorn all lodged into a bin large enough to hold several basketballs equates to excess calories from snacking. And the crazy thing is, no matter how much popcorn you send tumbling down your gullet, the bin never seems to go empty. Is some kind of Christmas elf circulating people’s pantries overnight to refill these things, or what!?
They’re solid sticks of sugar, food coloring and peppermint in the shape of a cane. Aside from acting as a giant breath mint, they carry no other significant health benefits. Fortunately, they are relatively low in calories, so indulging in a few over the holiday season isn’t that bad. Note that the keyword there is season, meaning not in one sitting.
One of the healthy aspects of Thanksgiving (yes, Thanksgiving can be healthy) is the main dish – turkey. It’s a giant bird that can feed many where the desirable portion (the white meat) is actually the healthier portion as well. While it’s perfectly acceptable to serve up another turkey for a big Christmas dinner, people looking to change things up often lean towards the traditional Christmas ham. And this ham isn’t just any ham. It’s a ham that is almost always cured in salt and glazed in sugar. That is why it’s so naughty. If it was just a regular ham, it would be perfectly fine, in moderation of course.
Buying someone a 5-pound box of chocolate is definitely a sweet gift. It is also a bit excessive, and not the healthiest option for someone who is trying to lose weight or suffering from diabetes. Actually, when you think about it, who would ever need 5 pounds of chocolate!? Okay, maybe that isn’t a fair question.
For some reason, the holidays are one of those times of the year where you can almost always expect to see a fondue fountain at an office party or gathering of friends and family. Yes it’s a warm, delicious and comforting treat for all. But…you’re dipping perfectly good, and usually nutritious, foods in a fountain of cheese or chocolate. Just, stop it!
A Yule log is a big chunk of wood that is burned in a hearth or fireplace, and is a part of a well-known Christmas tradition originating from Europe. Keeping up with this tradition, the Yule log has appeared as a dessert dish on platters for Christmas parties and dinners. What makes this Christmas food so naughty is that it is usually a sponge cake with several layers of chocolate and fudge to give it that wood-like appearance like an actual log.
It’s a variation of the fruitcake, but covered in frosting. For the record, adding frosting to something that is already considered unhealthy does not make it healthier.