The Good in Holiday Food - article lead image

They say that Christmas brings hope, joy, peace… and some unwanted weight! So for some, it’s not just the season for giving but also for gaining. And be honest, it’s usually the irresistible feasts and overstocked refrigerators that take the blame post-holidays. But who’s complaining?

There are foods we particularly enjoy more during Christmas, and some get a bad rap for being unhealthy. So in the true spirit of giving, maybe it’s worth giving our favorite holiday treats a second look to discover their health merits and how to revel sans remorse—with everything taken in moderation, of course.

Bibingkaa gluttonous treat made with glutinous rice – can be as scary as Halloween for some. And why not? A single serving imparts around half of the daily recommended intake of carbs, which would take 15 minutes or so to burn on the treadmill.

But our signature holiday cake isn’t all bad. Bibingka is actually packed with important nutrients like manganese, copper, and lauric acid from coconut milk; selenium, omega-3, and vitamin A from salted duck egg; and calcium from kesong puti.

Puto Bumbong is another Filipino classic that doesn’t fall far from the tree. The mixture of rice, sugar, and dairy makes for a perfect weight gain recipe, not to mention the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease when eaten excessively. If you want to temper the threats, a few substitutions can be made like honey for sugar or zero trans fat margarine in place of butter.

Christmas Hams often take center-stage during the Noche Buena, and for a good reason. It’s a versatile protein-rich meal that easily goes on the plate with other dishes. The things we love most about hams come from the curing method, which may involve plenty of sodium from brining or some carcinogens from smoking. To relish a more wholesome cut, opt for lean and low-salt variants, or try fresh ham for a change.

Quezo de Bola, or Edam cheese, is not only protein- and calcium-rich as it serves heaps of vitamins A, B2, B12, and phosphorus. But it also comes with saturated fat and salt, so moderate portioning is best to lower the risk of high cholesterol and blood pressure. Use grated cheese instead of sliced to enjoy more with less, or substitute with lower-fat alternatives like mozzarella, feta, or cottage cheese.

Temperance is noble, but we all cannot faithfully abide by these pointers, right? Amidst the imminent festivities and food comas, it might be beneficial to keep some pro-holiday supplements handy:

Bio-Enzyme Blend 90 capsules - Buy Online from BioBalance Wellness Institute

Bio-Enzyme Blend
Aids in digesting carbohydrates-heavy food.

B Complex Active 60 capsules - Buy Online from BioBalance Wellness Institute

B Complex Active
Readily absorbable to help convert food to energy.

Every bite of our favorite Christmas treats uplifts the spirit. Let’s just keep in mind the tireless, old adage to “take everything in moderation”—so we can all enjoy and look forward to more holidays.

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