7 Worst Holiday Foods

If you’re like most Americans, you are about to receive a hideous holiday gift. You’ll hate it, but you’ll be stuck with it—in fact, it comes with no return receipt, and this is one present you won’t be able to re-gift to Uncle Fred. Worse, you’ll have to carry this ugly present around with you all day, every day, probably for the rest of your life.

I’m not talking about a neon tie or a dancing-snowman sweater. I’m talking about a pound and a half of disgusting belly flab. That’s right: The average American gains 1.5 pounds of fat between Thanksgiving and New Year's, according to a study at Texas Tech. That’s 15 pounds of dangerous belly fat a decade, even if you follow a strict diet the rest of the year.

But here’s a holiday secret that could change your life: You can indulge in all your favorite treats, whether it’s eggnog from a mug or candy from your kids’ stocking, if you just make a few smart swaps. Here’s a sample of them, courtesy of the brand-new Eat This, Not That! 2012 Edition. These swaps alone could save you almost that entire 1.5 pounds. Make them every day, and you’d strip 26 pounds off your body between now and New Year’s Eve! So why not indulge smartly—and make belly flab an old acquaintance you WILL forget?

#7 Worst Holiday Beverage
Organic Valley Eggnog (1 cup)
360 calories
20 g fat (12 g saturated)
34 g sugar

Traditional eggnog is made with whole milk, cream, and eggs—not exactly a low-cal trio. And the fact that Organic Valley's is organic doesn't undo the damaging effect of 20 grams of fat and 34 grams of sugar. Each cup of this nog has more calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger. Bolthouse, on the other hand, gives eggnog a healthy makeover by swapping out milk and cream for low-fat milk, effectively slashing the calories by more than half.

Drink This Instead!
Bolthouse Farms Holiday Nog (1 cup)
160 calories
3 g fat (2 g saturated)
24 g sugar

DIABETES DEFENSE: People who drink up to 34 ounces of water a day are 36 percent less likely to develop diabetes, says a French study. For more of the latest research on fitness and nutrition, follow me right here on Twitter!

NEXT: Holiday Coffee Drink >>

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