It is OK to dream about sugar plum fairies and other sweets this time of year, as long as you’re not consuming too many! Treats laden with lots of fat and sugar mean carrying around more than your new designer purse in the New Year. How about an unwanted gift of ten extra pounds?
That is typical for many who not only stay sedentary this time of year but also eat a lot of extra holiday treats. In fact, one treat a day adds up and can amount to more than half the amount of sugar you should eat a day. The World Health Organization suggests that only 10% of our calories should come from sugar.
Let’s start with a gingerbread cookie, a holiday favorite, containing about 100 calories and 6 grams of sugar. The same is true for a sugar cookie, also 100 calories, while two chocolate chip cookies will set you back 150 calories. A candy cane of almost pure sugar equals 60 calories. The same is true for a few chocolate covered mints and a piece of fudge 70 calories.
In my Thanksgiving article, I already warned you about pies, so let’s just focus on the biggest offender, pecan pie. Pecan pie weighs in at 480 calories, 27 grams of fat and 58 grams of sugar. That is before even adding the side of ice cream which is another 150 calories per ½ cup. I know you all love your dear aunt’s homemade peanut brittle, but munch sparingly as it is 128 calories per ounce, 5 grams of fat and 18 grams of sugar. That delectable cheesecake is 372 calories. Mincemeat pie (yuck, sorry) is 360 calories and fruitcake (double yuck, sorry again!) is 324 calories. Your best bet is to choose pumpkin pie which equals 180 calories, or even better a tangerine at a healthy 40 calories.
Now onto my favorite topic, holiday coffee drinks! I love coffee, but calories can really add up when you start adding all those sugary holiday flavors to your beverage. Let’s start with the delectable Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino which equals 290 calories for a 16 ounce cup without the whipped cream. Add the whipped cream and you’re looking at a total of 400 calories. A 16 ounce peppermint mocha is about the same at 290 calories without the whip and 410 with the whipped cream.