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4 Foods to Avoid During the Holidays

Don't get ambushed by these sneaky calories

Fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean meats are on the menu all year long. But during the holidays, there are temptations around every corner. Here are a few to leave at the buffet:

Mixed Drinks. Cocktails are often high in calories, especially those that include cream or sugary syrups. Choose low-calorie or sugar-free mixers. Or, try sparkling water with cranberry juice for a refreshing change.

Filled Chocolates. Milk chocolates, especially those filled with creams or caramel, are full of fat and sugar. Savor a square of dark chocolate instead.

Stuffing. The amount of butter and high-fat sausage in many recipes means that one scoop may have as many calories as a cheeseburger. Skip the sausage, and use low-sodium chicken broth and butter-flavored cooking spray instead of butter. Wild rice dressing is a flavorful alternative.

Pecan Pie. The nuts may be good for you, but the corn syrup, butter and sugar cancel the benefits. Nibble on unsalted mixed nuts instead—or enjoy a small slice of pumpkin pie, which provides more nutrients.

You don't have to stick to a steady diet of carrots during this special season. Simply take a few slow bites of your favorite foods—and then push away from the table. Visit with family and friends. Take a walk around the neighborhood to see the lights. Or, share the holiday spirit by volunteering to serve meals at a soup kitchen or shelter.

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Last Updated 04/10/2009