Worst Holiday Foods: Enjoy the Holidays and Keep Skin Looking Young

The average American consumes an additional 600 calories a day between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

With Thanksgiving just a few days away and festive occasions just around the corner, it is important to enjoy delicious foods, but minimize as many unhealthy choices as possible.

Enjoy the holidays with friends and family, but without the additional calorie and sugar intake.

To start, watch Dr. Pericone discuss Thanksgiving below:

Learn more about enjoying the holidays:

This, Not That: 10 Foods to Avoid this Holiday Season

The holidays are filled with tasty and delicious foods from sugary pies and cakes to mashed potatoes and stuffing. While taking pleasure in the occasional holiday treat is perfectly fine, it is essential to minimize your consumption of unhealthy holiday foods.

Try this, not that:

This:Not That:
1. Baked sweet potatoes1. Sweet potato casserole
2. Cranberry relish2. Cranberry sauce
3. Plain baked potato3. Loaded baked potato
4. White-meat turkey without skin4. Dark-meat turkey with skin
5. Whole-wheat dinner rolls5. Croissants
6. Oyster or fruit based stuffing6. Stuffing with sausage
7. Simply prepared vegetables7. Veggies in creams or casseroles
8. Dab of gravy8. Boat load of gravy
9. Pumpkin pie9. Pecan pie with whipped cream
10. Apple cider10. Eggnog

Best Bets for your Thanksgiving Table

It is not difficult to put together healthy and delicious meals for the holidays once you know what ingredients and foods to look for.

It is simply unrealistic to avoid all of the fattening and unhealthy foods during the holiday season; however, one of the best strategies is to avoid unhealthy appetizers. Holiday appetizers can be truly dangerous because they often result in eating while standing up or distracted, or even standing close to the snack tray. Luckily, there are some great appetizer foods full of antioxidants and vitamins.

Holiday appetizers best bets:

  • Smoked oysters, mussels and clams
  • Shrimp
  • Crab Scallops
  • Calamari
  • Caviar
  • Salsa
  • All varieties of nuts and seeds
  • Chestnuts
  • Fresh fruit bowl
  • Hummus/Bean dips/Baba ganoush

Combining plenty of antioxidant-rich foods, and good carbohydrates makes for the best bets on your Thanksgiving table this year.

Best bets for antioxidants:

  • Avocado
  • Bell peppers
  • Berries
  • Cantaloupe/honeydew melons
  • Dark leafy vegetables (such as spinach and kale, lightly cooked)
  • Orange-colored squash
  • Pineapple
  • Salmon
  • Tomatoes

Best bets for healthy carbohydrates:

  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Blueberries
  • Cabbage
  • Citrus fruits
  • Leafy green
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Spinach

The traditional Thanksgiving main course, turkey, is an excellent source of protein, which is needed for cellular repair; turkey is also rich in cancer-protective selenium. To avoid antibiotics and processing, choose organic, free-range turkey or chicken as the main course.

For a complete recipe of healthy Roasted Turkey Breast with Garam Masala Rub and a Citrus Spice Glaze, visit the DailyPerricone.

The Worst to the Best Holiday Foods: Yams and Pumpkins for Thanksgiving

While the quantity and variety of food served for the holidays, especially Thanksgiving is extravagant; there are a few food items that top the list for most unhealthy as well as some that significantly benefit your health.

One of the worst side dishes served at Thanksgiving is candied yams. This side dish contains approximately 320 calories, 12 grams of fat, and 26 grams of sugar. While yams by themselves have several health benefits and are good for you, the butter, brown sugar, and marshmallow that make up this popular Thanksgiving side dish are not.

med_One of the best foods to serve this holiday season is pumpkin. Pumpkin is really low in calories, with only about 20 calories per 100 grams. It is also very rich in potassium, magnesium, and iron. Pumpkins are also high in carotenoids which are great for your health. For example, carotenoids may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, not to mention they are great for your skin.

This Thanksgiving and holiday season enjoy food, fun, and family time, but incorporate healthy food whenever possible. Try to avoid the worst treats, like candied yams, in favor for healthier items like pumpkins.

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4 Comments • Please comment below


  1. Dr. Perricone

    You’re way outdated. Saturated fat is NOT bad for you. That is based on the NON- science of Ancel Keys and fraud. There is no evidence in the literature that saturated fat restriction reduces coronary artery disease mortality.

    And Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian PUBLICLY ADMITTED this in a podcast my blog features. That is why I respect him.

    All of you dermatologists are the same. The sun is GOOD for us and does NOT cause skin cancer.

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  3. I have yet to try any Perricone products, but after having read several of his books on skin, health and aging I am ready to try!
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