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Diet: The Healthiest Foods for Christmas

Por Ana C. López, Nutrition Counselor, MiDieta™ Team -

Christmas holidays are near… have you made your list of forbidden foods? Put aside that list! We have a better proposal: make a list of healthy foods and be sure to include them in your menu.

Although we usually focus on the foods we should avoid during the holidays, here are some good news. There are healthy, low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods that are characteristic of this season. These five foods should be a “must” on your Christmas dinner:

Turkey:Turkey is certainly a typical food of the holiday season. Fortunately, it is also an excellent choice. Just analyze this comparison: 3 ounces of beef have 245 calories and 16.6 grams fat; 3 ounces of pork equal 230 calories and 14.5 grams of fat; the same amount of turkey provides only 159 calories and 6 grams of fat. Just remember to select healthy cooking methods, such as roasting or baking instead of frying, in order to increase the calories at expense of fats.

Apples:Like all fruits, apples are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. In addition, compounds known as phytochemicals play an important role in the health properties of apples. This fruit also contains many antioxidants, which are substances that help prevent cell damage and may slow aging as well as the progression of certain chronic diseases.

Pumpkin:This food is rich in vitamin A and a good source of fiber. It is also low in calories. However, preparing it as a pie can significantly increase the calories, sugar, and fat. A healthy choice is to use low fat ingredients and an artificial sweetener instead of sugar. Pumpkin puree is an excellent way to enjoy this food and its nutritional benefits.

Sweet Potato:Another food with a high content of vitamin A, similar to that of carrots. It also contains vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber and potassium.

Cranberries:Cranberries are very common these days, either as a sauce to be served with turkey, as juice, or pureed. These fruits are high in vitamin C, fiber and manganese. They also contain proanthocyanidins, which are very strong antioxidants that had been linked to the prevention of bacterial growth—this is why cranberry juice is used for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections.

Now that you know these delicious and healthy food choices, enjoy Christmas without feeling guilty and choose the most nutritious foods.


United States Department of Agriculture. Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Retrieved on December, 2009 from 


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