When it comes to food, this is the best and worst time of year. The food is amazing -- from simple childhood favorites to rich foods swimming in thick sauces. But it's also the worst, since all that food adds up to one thing: A higher number on the bathroom scale. Many Americans gain as much as eight to ten pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's. But guess what? You don't have to give up your favorite holiday treats, as long as you pay attention to the added fat, sugar and salt and eat in moderation. Stacey Snelling, a registered dietician and associate dean at American University's School of Education, Teaching and Health, has identified 10 holiday foods that not only taste good, but also have specific health benefits. The top 10 holiday foods that are good for you:
1. White turkey meat
Low in fat and high in protein, white turkey meat is also packed with B vitamins.
This holiday fruit is relatively low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol free, high in fiber and high in vitamins A and C.
3. Sweet potatoes
This favorite holiday vegetable is fat-free, cholesterol free, high in vitamins A and C, and high in fiber.
4. Red wine
It's fat-free and high in heart-healthy antioxidants, but moderation is key. Drink no more than one or two glasses a day.
5. Dark chocolate
This feel-good food is high in antioxidants.
This could be the perfect food. It's not only low in calories and fat-free, but also high in vitamins A and C.
Low in calories and fat free, spinach is packed with vitamins A and K, as well as fiber.
8. Green beans
High in fiber and vitamins C and K, green beans are also low in calories and fat-free.
9. Green peas
Like broccoli, spinach and green beans, peas are fat free. They're also high in vitamin K and fiber.
This favorite holiday spice not only makes things taste like Christmas, but also may lower blood sugar, improve diabetes and aid in bacterial infections.