Healthy Holiday Indulgences

chanmpagne toast by flickr user ginnerobot

As much as I absolutely love the holiday season, I severely dislike all the scary weight gaining statistics that pop up during this time of year! Like every woman (except maybe Alessandra, Adriana and anyone else who sports angel wings for their job), I worry about holiday weight gain and fitting into my New Year’s dress. Recently I swore off cheese at holiday parties, aka my kryptonite, in an effort to maintain a healthy holiday season and steady the dial on the scale. You can only imagine my delight when I came across an article that said cheese might actually help you lose weight! Below are a few other party food favorites that are not quite as bad as they seem.

Cheese- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently conducted a study that proved women who ate an ounce of full fat cheese a day gained fewer pounds over time than those that refrained from cheese all together. Who knew cheese was a healthy party food? The best cheese out there? Full-fat ricotta! Only 49 calories per ounce and extremely low sodium.

Champagne- Break open the bubbly! We all know the health benefits of wine, but it turns out that champagne provides us with similar boosts of antioxidants! It also contains polyphenol antioxidants, which are believed to reduce the effects of cell-damaging free radicals in the body, which lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart problems. Plus, champagne only has 91 calories as opposed to the 350 calories in Eggnog.

Pumpkin pie, bread, muffins, etc- Pumpkin seeds, in addition to being a good source of protein and omega-3, contain some very important nutrients- iron zinc, calcium and magnesium. A yummy and healthy holiday treat!

Nuts- Almonds and pecans to be exact. International Journal of Obesity found that people who ate about 12 almonds a day reduced their weight and body-mass index by a solid 18 percent compared with an 11 percent drop in the no-nut group. Pecans are high in fiber, a good source of protein, contain healthy fats, and are rich in antioxidants, like vitamin E. Portion control is key- so eat up, just don’t go nuts (ha!).

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