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Check out our shockers, swaps & general holiday fun!   

(1 average 4-oz. piece: 400 calories, 15g fat, 250mg sodium, 70g carbs, 2g fiber, 30g sugars, 5g protein = 9 Points)


Fruitcake seems innocent enoughno sugary frosting, no creamy filling, and its got fruit in the title.  How bad could it be, right?  Ummm, you DON'T wanna know.  Candied dried fruit, heavy liquors, fatty nuts, molasses and honey all baked up in a buttery cake = seriously frightening nutritionals.  Homemade versions can contain as many as 40 fat grams per serving!  Yikes!  We highly recommend that you steer clear of this seasonal cake mistake. 

Try This Instead!  Feed a fruitcake craving with one of Zen Bakerys Fiber Cakes, in Blueberry or Apple Cranberry.  With a dense cake-y texture and tons of sweet fruit morsels, these moist little muffin-like cakes are the perfect fruitcake swap!  And with 80 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and 13 grams of fiber, these 1-Point puppies are a prized find!

Mulled Wine

(1 average 6-oz. glass: 270 calories, 0g fat, 30g carbs, 0g fiber, 30g sugars, 0g protein = 5 Points)


Dont let yourself be sucked in by mulled wine.  This spice-infused seasonal sip is loaded with sugary ingredients like sugar (duh), corn syrup, fruit juice, and honey.  To make matters worse, heating the brew reduces the serving size, so all those calories are condensed into a tinier portion.  Boo!


Try This Instead!  Regular red wine (which can be equally delicious) contains about half the amount of calories and far less sugar and carbs than the mulled version.  Swirl a cinnamon stick in your glass for some yummy spice.  Champagne, another holiday favorite, is also a better choice.  Not only does it have less than half the calories of mulled wine, its also typically served in smaller glasses (usually in 4-oz. servings), so youre likely to take in less. 

Latkes (Potato Pancakes)

(1 average 2-oz. pancake: 200 calories, 11g fat, 200mg sodium, 22g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g sugars, 3g protein = 5 Points)


Who doesn't love potato pancakes?  They taste AWESOME.  We were, however, deeply saddened to discover the high calorie and fat content in just one potato pancake.  Although we shouldnt be surprised; a batter of potato, egg, and onion (not too bad yet) is fried to a fattening crisp in oodles of oil.  And the fact that theyre traditionally served up with mounds of sour cream and applesauce only pushes these fatty patties further over the edge.  Oh the sadness!


Try This Instead!  Dr. Praeger has the cure for latke lovers.  His 1-Point-apiece Potato Pancakes are a cinch to prepare and have 80 calories, 5 fat grams and 3g fiber each (they're a little high in the fat dept. but worth the splurge every now and then)!  You can also try this awesome low-fat recipe from the fine folks over at  Whether you go with Dr. Ps pre-made pancakes or get crafty in your kitchen, serve these tasty treats with some fat-free sour cream and unsweetened applesauce.  Yum!

Pecan Pie

(1 average 4-oz. slice: 450 calories, 21g fat, 480mg sodium, 65g carbs, 4g fiber, 32g sugars, 4.5g protein = 10 Points)


Okay, this one shouldnt come as too big of a surprise.  Sticky sugar-coated nuts are baked up with eggs, butter, corn syrup and more, then are served up in a flaky pastry crust.  All that equals nutritionals that are sky high for this pie.  And the numbers above are for an average slice.  Most restaurant slices contain TWICE as many calories and fat grams.  Yowsa!  We recommend "pecan" another dessert choice (tee hee)   


Try This Instead!  Its no shock either that the Dreyers/Edys folks have got this one covered.  Their Butter Pecan Slow Churned Light Ice Cream  (1/2 cup: 120 calories, 5g fat = 3 Points) offers a far more sensible way to get your sweet pecan fix.  Were also pretty partial to Lunas Chocolate Pecan Pie bar.  With only 180 calories, 5 fat grams, and 3 whole Gs of fiber, this 3-Pointer is the MVP of pie swaps!

Holiday Wrap Up

* Check out more horrifying seasonal treats that are served up during the holidays!


* Scope out 2006s Hottest Holiday Food Finds!


* Relax!  HG reveals the best holiday snacks!

HGs Greatest Holiday Recipes!

* The very latest rockin holiday recipes to emerge from the HG kitchen!


* The legendary Lean Bean Casserole!


* Warm winter sips that wont go to your hips!


* Autumn may be over, but pumpkin still rules the holiday season!


We're on vacation until Tuesday 1/2.  Happy holidays!!!!!


Well, this is it.  The very last email of the year*.  Thank you for all of your support, recipes, feedback and general niceness in 2006.  HG subscribers ROCK!  Have a happy, healthy holiday week and a fantastic and safe New Year's Eve.  See ya in 2007!


*You will receive one "Side Dish" email next week.

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