More to Chew On: Daphne’s Naughty or Nice

  • By The Chew Crew

The food table at your next holiday party is a mélange of healthy and unhealthy dishes. Here, Daphne arms you with the tools you will need to decode the naughty choices from the nice.

Defendant: Spiced Cider

The Verdict: Naughty

A cup of spiced cider contains approximately 240 calories, which is equivalent to at least 2 bottles of beer or 2 cans of soda. While not a major crime, a few rounds of cider definitely adds up, if you’re counting calories. If you’re looking to keep things light this holiday season, Daphne recommends opting for one glass of spiced cider, and then switching to a seltzer with lime.

Defendant: Caramelized Nuts

The Verdict: Nice

Though this one may come as a bit of a surprise, roasting nuts with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup and a sprinkle of sea salt or sesame seeds is, in fact, a healthy holiday treat. The healthy fats in nuts will help keep you fuller, and therefore, able to resist overeating when the desserts appear. Daphne also advises choosing almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, and pecans, which pack in the most heart healthy fats.

Defendant: Sweet Potato Casserole

The Verdict: Naughty

Low in sodium and cholesterol, and high in fiber, sweet potatoes get a good reputation as one of the most nutritious vegetables. They lose some of their value, though, when baked in an old-fashioned casserole loaded with marshmallows, butter, and sugar. Daphne suggests eliminating the butter, halving the sugar, and dotting the top with mini marshmallows. These simple adjustments will shave tons of calories from this hearty casserole, without compromising taste.

Defendant: Gingerbread Cookies

The Verdict: Nice

Finally, there is a dessert that won’t leave you feeling immensely guilty. Ginger and molasses, the two main ingredients in gingerbread cookies, actually present some health benefits, further encouraging you to reach for these adorable confections. Ginger is shown to fight cramps, rejuvenate skin, and sooth sore muscles, and molasses is high in magnesium, calcium, and iron, and is a better-for-you sweetener than sugar. These health perk mean you should reach for one in each hand. 


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