By the end of the festive season, Britain will have consumed 2 billion calories just from drinking alone. We have no trouble believing this - if the Jackson Pollock splatters on the pavements are anything to go by.
Here's a tip: you don't have to drink your weight in sherry. Here's the breakdown of what you'll have to do to work off all that guzzling:
No you can't have your cake and eat it too. Not even with this innocuously-named cake. And while it doesn't have all the trappings of a unhealthy dessert, like rich frosting or fillings, it's loaded with sugar. Just one serving of a store-bought fruit cake contains <a href="http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-entenmanns-fruit-cake-i231162" target="_blank">470 calories,</a> over 17 grams of fat, and 55 grams of sugar. If that wasn't enough to sway you from your beloved cake, know that it's also packed with <a href="http://www.walmart.com/ip/Entenmann-s-Fruit-Cake-24-oz/21128399" target="_blank">corn syrup, enriched flour, and shortening</a>.
While you're busy dodging pies and mini quiches, it may seem like a good idea to just grab a drink instead. You can't drink your calories,<em> right</em>? Wrong. Just one cup of this holiday classic packs <a href="http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-egg-nogs-eggnog_f-ZmlkPTE0NjIwMg.html" target="_blank">nearly 350 calories</a>. And the worst part is, half of the calories are from fat. <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fat-grams/HQ00671" target="_blank">Physicians recommend </a>getting between 20-30 percent of your daily calories from fat. And if you're concerned about your heart health, note that just one serving gives you approximately 50 percent of your daily cholesterol value.
We loved popcorn balls as kids and now as adults we've upgraded to entire tins of this sweet 'n' salty treat. Yes, you probably realize it takes a boatload of butter and sugar to make an otherwise bland snack so tasty. But it's portion control that you should be aware of. Several handfuls while mindlessly snacking really add up. Just 4 ounces of caramel popcorn packs a whopping <a href="http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-popcorn-caramel-coated_f-ZmlkPTYxNjk5.html" target="_blank">490 calories</a>. That's almost <a href="http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-chocolate-bar_f-ZmlkPTE5MTU1.html" target="_blank">as much as two Snickers bars</a>!
For anyone on a low-carb or high-protein diet, this may seem like a healthy choice compared to skin-on turkey or high-fat glazed ham. But each meatball can have as many as <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20440821_3,00.html" target="_blank">400 calories</a> with the eggs, bread and cream that go into it. The beef broth adds up to <a href="http://www.calorieking.com/foods/search.php?keywords=swedish+meatballs" target="_blank">50% of your daily recommended value of sodium</a>, so beware.
Green Bean Casserole
'But it's a vegetable!' you tell yourself. So we're sorry to break the bad news. While green beans are rich in vitamins and fiber, the casserole doesn't have quite the same health benefits. Factor in the <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grandmas-green-bean-casserole/" target="_blank">fried onion topping, butter, and cream,</a> you're left with a dish that contains over <a href="http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20440821_18,00.html" target="_blank">750 calories per batch and over 4,000 milligrams of sodium</a>. That's almost twice the 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day that the <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/features/sodium/" target="_blank">CDC</a> recommends!
The holidays aren't complete without cranberry sauce. And yes, while you protest it's a super fruit, <a href="http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/cranberries-year-round-superfood" target="_blank">loaded with antioxidants and fiber</a>, you might as well eat a slice of pumpkin pie instead. A half a cup of the can-made festive sauce contains around <a href="http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-sauces-cranberry-sweetened-canned_f-ZmlkPTYzODEy.html" target="_blank">200 calories </a> and twice as much sugar as a <a href="http://www.calorieking.com/foods/calories-in-sauces-cranberry-sweetened-canned_f-ZmlkPTYzODEy.html" target="_blank">slice of homemade pumpkin pie</a>!
You know when spinach tastes this good, there's got to be a catch. While the popular leafy green is full of iron and vitamins, this dish is loaded with heavy cream and butter, which give it its creamy goodness. A side order of this dish at a restaurant contains 260 calories. Doesn't seem bad? 189 are from the 21 grams of fat. And when you top it off with some bacon bits, it's only going to get worse. We suggest you keep spinach in your salads.