Get Your Fill of Whole Foods This Holiday Season

The holiday season is a time of celebration, togetherness and tempting treats galore. Unfortunately, calorie-dense foods like the cookies, cakes and other sweet treats that are abundant this time of year can contribute to overeating – and not simply because they taste so good. Calorie-dense foods have a high ratio of calories for their volume. This means they may leave you hungry despite the amount of calories and fat they contain. On the other hand, you can fill up on a lot more whole foods for the same amount of calories, fat and carbohydrates. For example:

1 Frosted Sugar Cookie = 1 Serving of Mixed Berries + 1 Ounce of Pistachios + 1 Small Sweet Potato

Sugar Cookie Nutrition Facts

Calories: 301

Fat: 14 g

Protein: 2 g

Carbohydrates: 45 g

Total Grams of Food: 66


Nutrition Facts for Berries, Pistachios and Sweet Potato 

Calories: 306

Fat: 14 g

Protein: 8 g

Carbohydrates: 43 g

Total Grams of Food: 228

For about the same amount of fat, carbohydrates and calories as an iced holiday sugar cookie, you can have a bowl of mixed berries, 49 pistachios and a sweet potato. That ends up being almost 3.5 times more food! Which option do you think will leave you feeling full longer?

The whole foods above have more protein, which will provide more satiety. They also contain more fiber, minimizing spikes in your blood sugar that can cause your energy levels to crash. So, the next time you’re tempted to snack on a sweet treat, like some cookies a co-worker brought in to the office to share or leftover desserts from a holiday party you hosted, keep in mind that whole foods can provide a lot more bang for your buck!

“1 cookie = fat of 1 avocado plus starch of 1 potato plus sugar of 2 apples. Why ultra-processed food is making us overeat,” Julianne Taylor,, Dec. 6, 2017.