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One common thing comes to mind when people think about the holidays: Food. Home-cooked meals are a missed favorite as college students are away at school. It can be hard to steer clear of the fattening foods that await at home. Here are some healthy tips and the best and worst foods enjoyed during the holiday season:
Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients according to Cooking Light. Sweet potatoes are a great source of antioxidants as well as vitamin C. These potatoes are a must-have during the holidays.
Cranberries are a great treat during the holidays. According to Cooking Light, these berries are packed with antioxidants as well as potassium and fiber. These berries are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Oddly enough, hot cocoa is connected with great health benefits. Cooking Light states that hot cocoa (enjoyed in moderation, of course) has shown lowered rates of blood pressure. It’s better to choose dark chocolate above all, due to the rich amount of antioxidants present.
Everyone knows green beans are a great vegetable source, but do they know why? Cooking Light states that green beans are rich in vitamins A, C, K, manganese, dietary fiber, potassium, and iron. It’s best to boil or steam these veggies, rather than drown them in butter and cancel out all benefits.
Everyone needs their protein, but it comes in many forms. According to Cooking Light, turkey is one of the lowest-calorie protein sources out there. A 3-ounce serving of skinless turkey breast has about 120 calories and one gram of fat. Tip: Trim off the skin before eating – that’s where most of the fat and calories lurk.
Go easy on the:
Everyone loves a good glass of eggnog after dinner. However, is it really worth it? According to Cooking Light, an 8-oz serving can easily exceed 250 calories and 5g saturated fat. (Wouldn’t you rather have dessert?)
Dips- Definitely a guilty pleasure among all people. You may never know every ingredient in the dips. There may be loads of cheese hidden in that “healthy spinach dip”. Cooking Light states that the calories, saturated fat, and sodium lurking in creamy dips (and the crackers and chips dipped in them) add up terribly. It’s better to choose hummus or salsa instead, and use fresh veggies as dippers.
According to Cooking Light, some commercially prepared and homemade creamy soups can contain an entrée’s worth of calories. Especially when whole milk or heavy cream is used as the base. These soups also add artery-clogging saturated fat to your diet. For a much healthier alternative, stick with broth-based soups.
Mashed potatoes are a common favorite, and so hard to avoid during the holiday season. Cooking Light mentions that potatoes in their natural state offer loads of vitamin C and potassium. However, we like to dress these potatoes up with fat. The whole milk and butter that make the potatoes creamy can wreck a perfectly nutritious choice by adding hundreds of calories and many grams of saturated fat.
According to Cooking Light, a typical slice of this nutty dessert can cost you over 500 calories. Top it with a scoop (1/2 cup) of vanilla ice cream, and you may be pushing 650 calories and 8g saturated fat. It’s okay to enjoy this dessert every once in awhile, but not during the entire holiday season. It’s hard to watch your pie limits, but it can be done.
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