If you’re on a diet this holiday season, you’re probably looking for calorie counts for holiday foods, so you know which tempting treats to indulge in, just a little, and which ones to skip. So I’ve come up with a typical holiday menu, and then gathered the calorie counts in one helpful place, right here. Which of these calorie counts for holiday foods will surprise you, and which will make your mouth water? Grab your favorite fork, and let’s get started!
While the debate over whether white meat or dark meat is tastier rages on, the calorie counts are in, and the clear winner in the low-cal contest is white meat, without skin, for sure. One four-ounce serving contains only 160 calories, while the same size serving of dark meat has 185 calories.
What’s turkey without the stuffing? A half-cup serving of stuffing contains 150 calories, almost as many as the turkey itself, but most of the calories in the stuffing come from carbs; in the turkey, the calories come from protein.
3. Mashed Potatoes
No calorie counts for holiday foods would be complete without the mashed potatoes, made at home with butter and whole milk, but wow, look at that calorie count, and that’s just for one one-cup serving! Get rid of some of the calories by using low-fat butter and milk… and whatever you do, don’t cover them in gravy!
4. Cranberry Sauce
One ounce of cranberry sauce is loaded with sugar, but it also contains vitamins A and C, and it goes so well with turkey! Whole cranberry sauce is better, but if you prefer jellied cranberry sauce, add another 50 calories per ounce. We almost have an entire dinner’s worth of calorie counts for holiday food, but there’s more… let’s keep going…
5. Sweet Potatoes
My family makes these sweet potatoes smashed, with brown sugar and mini marshmallows, so it’s no wonder that what started off as a “healthy” food, rich in Vitamin C and fiber, is loaded with calories, a lot of them in this 105-gram serving from fat. This was one of the most surprising calorie counts for holiday foods.
6. Pumpkin Pie
One small slice of pumpkin pie, served without whipped cream, is the most calorie-rich of our holiday foods, but it’s dessert, made with condensed milk, so of course it’s loaded with calories! If you want to cut out some of the calories, make your pumpkin pie with non-fat condensed milk. Your pie will be just as tasty and savory, but lower in fat and calories.
7. Honey-Roasted Ham
If you’re not keen on turkey, then this calorie count for holiday foods is just for you! Ham is a nice replacement for turkey, and while three ounces of ham contains more calories than four ounces of turkey, it’s still not a bad choice.
8. Green Bean Casserole
One small serving (3/4 cup) of green bean casserole has as many calories as your serving of turkey, most of them from fat and carbs… but it’s the holidays, so indulge a little! If you want to cut out some of the calories, make the casserole with reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup, or eat a smaller portion.
A tiny serving of gravy, just enough to pour on your smashed potatoes or turkey, contains 25 calories, which isn’t bad. Again, feel free to indulge, but don’t forget to count the calories in your overall total.
What an interesting list! I was relieved to see pumpkin pie wasn’t as calorie-packed as I thought, but wow! I’m not eating candied sweet potatoes anymore! Now that you’ve seen all the calorie counts for holiday foods on my menu, which of them will you enjoy this holiday season, and which will you skip? Do tell!