Holiday Should and Shouldn’t Foods to Eat

Holiday Should and Shouldn’t Foods to Eat

Every year you get through Thanksgiving and think you’re out of the woods but then the holiday parties pickup closer to the new year and you find yourself in the throws of gluttony that may take it’s toll on you later.

This year, think before you grab and try to remember these should and shouldn’t foods to eat. It’s either that or gain weight and go to sloth until you drag yourself to the gym for a major reboot. 

Watch Your Morning Meal

For many people skipping breakfast isn’t a problem, that is unless one encounters an office holiday cookie tray before lunch. Missing breakfast may slow your metabolism and make you gorge later on. 

This holiday watch your morning meal and maybe eat something small so you’re not hitting the vendor candy basket gift at 9:30 am.  

Skip the Spinach Artichoke Dip 

Spinach is a healthy vegetable but not when the nutrition is boiled out of it and it’s mixed with easy-to-go-sour mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, or cream cheese. Add in frozen, thawed, and probably frozen again artichokes and you could be dipping into an invitation for some nasty digestive problems or worse yet, food poisoning. 

On top of this bacterial petri-dish, Health reports that, 

“One popular restaurant’s version of this dish clocks in at 905 calories and a jaw-dropping 3,100 milligrams of sodium—more than 1,000 over the recommended daily limit.”

Stick to the Greeks

Greek yogurt used in any holiday recipe is an excellent replacement for cheese or cream based dips or sauces. It is also robust so unlike other dairy, the high protein and microorganism probiotic content of Greek yogurt allows it to stay out of the refrigerator longer without turning sour. If you’re attending a holiday house party, bring your own recipe (just in case that’s all you can eat). 

Try this Greek Yogurt Onion Dip from The Food Network, 


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped shallots (about 2 large shallots; 1/3 pound)

Kosher salt

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 cup 2-percent Greek yogurt

1/4 cup 1-percent milk

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Freshly ground black pepper

Cut-up vegetable sticks, low-salt pretzels or pita chips, for serving


Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of water and the balsamic vinegar, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are browned and caramelized, 12 to 15 minutes.

Combine the shallots, yogurt, milk, chives, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl and stir until blended. Cover and chill for 30 minutes before serving. The dip will keep, refrigerated, overnight.

Chips and Salsa No No

Even during the winter holidays some parties may offer chips and salsa. Stay away from this combo as one serving of tortilla chips with salsa (about one cup) packs about 300 calories worth of useless high sodium and fat. Stick to the hummus which is lower in sodium and offers protein, fiber and healthy fats instead. 

Move the Mash

You may have taken a good helping of mashed potatoes this past Thanksgiving but if another helping comes your way this holiday season move ‘em along. White potatoes are a night shade which is a category of foods that have been linked to inflammatory joint pain. There is also  cream, milk, butter, cheese and other fattening additives to mashed potatoes that will have you packing on the pounds. 

Look for or prepare sweet potatoes instead. These tasty spuds are chock full of nutrition your body will happily embrace.

Cheese Stick Carb Fest

You may not even realize you are in trouble until after eating several of these twisty, cheesy sticks of salty, carbohydrate hell. Stay away from the table cheese sticks with just one holding a third of your daily unsaturated fat. Plus, the high white flour content is notorious for spiking blood sugar and causing overeating as a result. 

White Rice Review

Fluffy white rice mixed with beans or other foods seems fairly harmless but this holiday season go easy or not at all. This rice is stripped of its nutritional value simply to produce a signature white color. The husks are removed as people like the soft eating rather than challenge the body to breakdown all the original nutrition rice grains have to offer. There is also an immediate glucose increase as white rice rapidly turns to sugar and is then stored as fat. 

Choose brown rice or quinoa for a more healthy choice your body will be able to utilize.

Holiday Cookies Karma

This is pretty much a no-brainer. Most holiday cookies are a mix of high sugar, flour, and other ingredients that include food dyes and preservatives. If you want holiday cookies opt for a vegan recipe instead. These usually contain plant-based ingredients that are more assimilated by the body turning them into nutritious powerhouses rather than fat forming lead bullets.

Cream Based Soups

Winter holiday soups are perfect for those bone chilling days you want to settle down and enjoy a warming meal. This is all fine and good unless the soup is cream based. These soups contain high calories and digestive damaging dairy, as well as the potential for spoilage. 

Stick to miso, chicken or barley soups for a holiday food loaded with all sorts of nutritious goodness. 

This holiday season give your body a break and choose your eats responsibly. It doesn’t take much to spot a potential health threat innocently sitting amidst a holiday spread. Rather than wait until the new year to get healthy, just don’t submit to blind holiday gluttony. 

Avoid sugar, alcohol, processed foods and other toxic concoctions all wrapped up in colorful, mesmerizing icings and such that seem innocent enough until you wake up the next morning a bloated mess. These holiday should and shouldn’t eats are a small example of the many foods out there you can navigate to get through each holiday party unscathed.