Holiday season doesn't have to mean holiday pounds

By Sofia Ojeda - Anchor/Reporter

Most of us love the holidays, with food, family, food, friends, and of course the food! But if you're trying to cut calories during the holidays there are some things to keep in mind to keep that waistline in check.

A traditional Thanksgiving meal can be more than 2000 calories but there are certain foods to eat, and not eat to cut those calories this holiday season. Catherine Kruppa, registered dietitian and owner of Advice for Eating, wants to remind folks that not all foods are created equal.

"The white meat turkey is always better than the dark meat turkey," she said.

Choosing about three ounces of white turkey will save you 45 calories and 6 grams of saturated fat.

"Raw vegetables, if you can do the fresh vegetables versus the casserole vegetables, those are a better bet," Kruppa said.

That's because one serving of green bean casserole packs more than 200 calories and 7 grams of fat, plus 2,000 mg of sodium.  Sweet potatoes may also be a better alternate choice.

"A sweet potato with a little bit of butter is better than anything loaded whether it's a sweet potato or baked potato," Kruppa said.

A sweet potato has 90 calories while a regular potato has 130 calories. Sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin A, have more vitamin C, fiber and much fewer carbs.

Watching your waist doesn't mean you have to skip dessert.

"Pumpkin pie is by far your best choice. It's 350 calories a slice, but it also has nutritional value, it's high in vitamin A for the pumpkin," Kruppa said.

Pecan pie has more than 400 calories a slice and a whopping 22 grams of fat.

As for cocktails and wine, they're all very close in calories. 5 ounces of wine is about 120 calories, 1 1/2 ounces of liquor is 100 calories, and a can of beer is about 150 calories. Kruppa said a good tip is to pick the drink that you know you will drink the least, because that will save you those unwanted calories.

In the end, it is the holiday so don't stress out too much, she said.

"Think of what your favorite Thanksgiving food is, and whatever that food is I want you to have it. Pick the one that you really, really want and skip the ones that you don't love," Kruppa said.

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