Healthy Holiday Foods That Are Good for Your Diet


Holidays Foods Don't Have to Ruin Your Diet

Healthy Holiday Foods
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Much of the fare at your next holiday party is going to be high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium, but you can also find some foods that are good for you. It's okay to indulge in a few decadent foods. Try balancing it out with some more nutrient-rich options, too. Here's a look at some foods you might find at the holiday table that are delicious and full of good nutrition. 



Turkey on a platter.
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Turkey is a good source of lean protein, zinc, iron, potassium and B vitamins. To keep turkey as lean as possible, avoid adding extra fat and sodium by only using a small amount of gravy and avoiding the skin. 


Green Beans

Green beans

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Green beans contain fiber and vitamins. They're delicious all on their own -- think of green beans almondine or simple steamed green beans rather than the ubiquitous high-calorie, high-sodium green bean casserole.


Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A and related antioxidants, plus they're a great source of fiber. Keep them lower in calories by choosing baked or simple mashed sweet potatoes, rather than the over-indulgent sweet potato pie.




Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Walnuts, almonds, and pecans are full of minerals, protein, and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Sprinkle a few chopped nuts on a salad or side dish or nibble on a few as an appetizer. Enjoy the pecan pie in small portions, as it is full of sugar and fat.



Holiday Cranberries
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Cranberries are tasty, but tart. They're an excellent source of vitamins and fiber. They're a good addition to vegetable side dishes. Cranberry juice makes a nice beverage when you combine it with something sweeter like grape or apple juice.


Fruits for Dessert

Poached pears are healthy holiday foods.
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Sliced fruit goes nicely with a bit of cheese and crackers for starters. Fresh fruit also makes for a nice dessert, or you can go a little more upscale and enjoy poached pears or raisin-stuffed apples. 




Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Your body needs to stay hydrated, especially if you dine on a bit too much salty ham or enjoy too many adult beverages. Drink water throughout the party and when you get home.


Whole Grain Bread

whole grain bread

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Whole grain bread is a better source of fiber than anything made with refined white flour. Choose 100-percent whole grain bread and dinner rolls whenever possible for the most fiber.


Cruciferous Vegetables

Brussel sprouts

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are all low in calories, extremely nutritious, and they taste superb. Fill your plate with any of these veggies if you have the chance.


Berries (and Yogurt)

Berries and yogurt are healthy holiday foods.
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Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are sweet and nutritious. Parfaits made with yogurt and berries with a sprinkling of chopped nuts make for a healthful and delicious dessert. 

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By Shereen Lehman, MS
Shereen Lehman, MS, is a former writer for Verywell Fit and Reuters Health. She's a healthcare journalist who writes about healthy eating and offers evidence-based advice for regular people.