High-Calorie Food to Eat in Moderation During Holidays such as Thanksgiving

High-Calorie Food to Eat in Moderation During Holidays

Holidays are piling up towards the end of the year. People celebrate different festivities and holidays, from Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Season, and more. It is during this period that people enjoy a wide variety of food and a lot of different cuisines at once..

Some of the foods served are loaded with high amounts of calories but with little to no nutritional value. This is growing extremely common especially in  the “western” diet, but not limited to it, as some other cuisines share the extreme levels of calories served per meal. This unhealthy diet of extra calories can lead to an additional 2 to 3 pounds of weight over the holiday season (Collier, 2020). 

As we enter the holiday season, we recommend limiting the following high-calorie food.

  • Mashed Potatoes

This is a staple dish for most types of occasions, as it is a standard “comfort food” for most, if not all people. However, a good cup(250 grams) of mashed potato containing milk and butter contains roughly 220 calories. Add some more gravy and other add-ons, which may increase calorie count by more than a hundred.

  • Turkey Skin

The skin of the turkey is packed with saturated fat. In general, unhealthy fat usually contains higher calories than other proteins or carbs. This level of unhealthiness is increased if it is the ‘dark meat’ or the crisp-skinned turkey leg people like in general. It is estimated that per 100 grams of serving, a whopping 170 calories are consumed, and an additional 140 from the white meat alone.

  • Stuffing

Typically made with loads of butter and bread, this is a staple dish served on different types of occasions and is high in calories and carbs. A serving of 100 grams can contain 170 calories, 22 grams of carbs, and a few more grams of sodium. Double these numbers if you would consume a whole cup.

  • Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet potato in itself is a good choice; however, it is a different thing it is turned into a casserole with marshmallows, butter, and loads of sugar. A 100-gram serving can reach up to 200 calories, and that can be seen as a serious warning sign.

  • Pecan Pie

Pecan pie does taste like heaven, but it is a bomb made of sugar and calories. It is one of the most high-calorie food you’d encounter during the holidays. It is estimated that it reaches over 400 calories per 100 grams of serving. Aside from calories, a serving would reach more than 50 grams of fat and 50 grams of sugar which can be too unhealthy for some.

  • Caramel Popcorn

One of the most popular holiday gifts is caramel popcorn. Even though popcorn is technically a whole-grain snack, it contributes to weight gain once smoldered with caramel or other sweet syrups. It is estimated to reach more than 400 calories per 100 grams of serving.

  • Eggnog

Eggnogs are generally made with alcohol, milk, heavy cream, eggs, and sugar. In total, it reaches up to 350 calories and 20 grams of sugar per 1-cup serving. If your holiday is incomplete without eggnog, try limiting the portion size or substituting some ingredients to lighten it (skim milk or no alcohol).

  • Cakes and Cookies

These are typically high in carbs and sugar. There are different types of cakes and cookies served during holidays. Each and everyone varies in their ingredients or way of cooking. However, on average, they can reach up to 500 calories per 100-gram serving. 

  • Milk Chocolates

Compared to purer dark chocolates, white chocolates are high in saturated fat and low in nutrients. White chocolate can reach more than 500 calories per 100 grams. It contains a good amount of calcium but lacks all other nutrients to make up for its extremely high-calorie content. We recommend avoiding this or opting for more pure dark chocolates.

  • Sugary Drinks

During the holidays, alcohol, soda, and other high-sugar/calorie-content drinks are prevalent. These drinks can contribute to unwanted calories and fat in your diet. If this can’t be avoided, try leaning more into diet cola or some other cola alternatives like flavored water or sparkling drinks.

Complete avoidance can be difficult, but you can try to limit the portion sizes or try to look for healthier alternatives. It is OK to enjoy these foods once in a while, but with multiple holiday parties and dinners, it is important that you watch what you put in your body if you are trying to watch the pounds. 


Top 10 Foods Highest in Calories to Avoid for Weight Loss (myfooddata.com)

8 High-Calorie Holiday Foods to Avoid (healthgrades.com)

Holiday Foods ‘Naughty List’ (webmd.com)

20 Tips to Avoid Weight Gain During the Holidays (healthline.com)

FoodData Central (usda.gov)

Is White Chocolate Healthy? (sfgate.com)