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Eat this, not that: Holiday edition

Eat this, not that
Our registered dietitians work closely with cancer patients on how to stay properly nourished through their treatment journey and have compiled some tips on how to enjoy that holiday party without splurging on the calories. Read more to get tips.

The holiday season has arrived, and for too many of us, that can mean packing on unwanted pounds. Our registered dietitians work closely with cancer patients on how to stay properly nourished through their treatment journey and have compiled some tips on how to enjoy that holiday party without splurging on the calories. 

First, start by scanning the buffet table. Check out the options before you start filling your plate, and decide what you really want. Second, try using a dessert or appetizer plate instead of the large dinner plate. Finally, eat slowly. It takes about 20 minutes for the signal to go from our stomach to our brain to let us know we are full. Parties are for socializing. Focus on having conversations with your family and friends instead of focusing on food.

Eat this, not that

Eat this: Shrimp cocktail, Swedish meatballs or chicken satay (Thai-style chicken kebabs). These are high in protein and low in fat. For example, 10 shrimps with cocktail sauce pack just 120 calories and less than 1 gram of fat.

Not that: Mixed nuts. Almonds and cashews are very healthy and packed with protein, fiber and healthy fat. The problem comes when you eat more than the appropriate portion. One cup of mixed nuts has a jaw-dropping 814 calories and 70 grams of fat. Either skip the nuts, or count out 15-20 pieces on your plate so you have a reasonable portion (approximately 150 calories).

Eat this: Salsa or bruschetta.  These foods are low in calories. A quarter of a cup contains about 10 calories and zero grams of fat. These foods are usually made with tomatoes, which contain lycopene, an antioxidant that can aid in cancer prevention.

Not that: Spinach and artichoke dip. This creamy dip weighs in at a whopping 300 calories and 19 grams of fat per portion. Not to mention that it is usually eaten with bread or chips that can easily add on another 150-200 calories.

Eat this: Veggies and hummus. Veggies are packed with antioxidants, and hummus only has about 50 calories and three grams of fat per serving, which makes it a very nutritious choice.

Not that: Veggies and ranch or blue cheese dressing. Dips like these deliver a devastating 150 calories and 16 grams of fat per two tablespoons. You can easily consume 750 calories of dressing alone without realizing it.

Drink this, not that

Once you’ve mastered the buffet table, it’s time to set your sights on the bar. Alcoholic beverages can do as much if not more damage to your diet than high-fat foods. 

Drink This: Champagne or light beer. The average flute of bubbly has 80 calories and no fat, and a bottle of light beer has just over 100 calories and no fat.

Not That: Eggnog and creamy martinis. If you must partake, limit it to one serving: Eggnog has an average of 344 calories and 19 grams of fat per glass! Dessert cocktails like chocolate martinis pack around 400 calories and 20 grams of fat.

Drink This: Vodka and club soda with a lime. Club soda has zero calories, zero fat and zero sugar.

Not That: Gin and tonic. Tonic water can actually have as many calories as a regular cola.

Get tips for overcoming the holiday blues.