Pumpkin pie is forever justified in my own unofficial nutritional handbook as it is made from a squash no matter how sweet and spicy it may be. New Year will come soon enough, and many people will make resolutions to eat better or get into better shape so, by all means, have that piece of pie. But, if you want to get a head start on those January 1 campaign promises to your waistline, avoid these items at the family table.
10) Anything from the Bar
Celebratory libations are sometimes all that one can look forward to during the long weekend with family – especially after a big election where some family members may have been "unfriended" on Facebook. Everyone has that Uncle that makes a mean martini and stray friends almost always bring a bottle of wine to dinner. Just remember: Alcohol usually means empty calories.
9) Candied Yams
Let’s just say anything "candied" or containing marshmallows should be considered dessert.
8) Green Bean Casserole
The more green on your plate, the better — unless you must peek through a veil of cream soup and fried onion to see it.
7) Pumpkin Spice Latte
Unlike their “squash”-y namesake, the holiday beverage from any coffee shop is more likely made with artificial flavor and color as well as a few lovin’ spoonfuls of sugar.
6) Cranberry Sauce
Fresh cranberries are good, and dried cranberries can be a nice ingredient, but the canned variety of cranberry sauce contains more than 100 grams of sugar per serving.
5) Skin-On Turkey
The crispy coating to an otherwise perfectly reasonable serving of protein can be responsible for adding fat, calories and cholesterol.
A yeast roll with dinner, pumpkin bread, banana bread, stuffing made with breadcrumbs, leftover turkey sandwiches … so many options, so many carbs.
While elementary school teaches us that the natives and pilgrims noshed on their fair share of corn, chances are it is not the genetically-modified (GMO) variety so common in today’s world. Never mind the speculation that GMO foods cause tumors and weight gain, corn is commonly thought to count as a vegetable side dish, but it truly is a grain, folks.
2) Pecan Pie
Once upon a time, I was robbed at gunpoint. Not my favorite holiday tale, but it's important for this piece because, as my entire life flashed before my eyes, my mother’s homemade pecan pie made a cameo somewhere between losing my first tooth and the fifth grade Spelling Bee. I love homemade pecan pie. Nonetheless, a cup or two of tasty, otherwise Dr. Oz-approved pecans take a bath in pure corn syrup to make this treat.
Gravy’s #1 ingredient? Fat. Artery-clogging fluids that escape from cooking meat whisked with flour and milk, in most cases, is terrible but still better than its commercially-packaged and preservative-laden jarred counterpart. If you must gravy, fresh is best.