Hanukkah: How to Control the Fried Food Frenzy!

by in Healthy Holidays, December 17, 2011


Fried foods are a big part of this holiday of lights. Eight days of latkes and jelly doughnuts can rack up the calories in an unhealthy heartbeat. Here are tips to get you through this year’s Hanukkah festivities.

Avoid Jelly Doughnut Overload
A store-bought jelly doughnut has an average of 300 calories and 16 grams of fat. Choose one or two nights to indulge, and hold back on the rest. You can also opt for mini versions like Dunkin’ Donuts munchkins with 80 calories and 4 grams of fat each.

You can also make your own baked version or mini doughnuts. Here are a few recipes to try:

If you REALLY think you need jelly doughnuts every night, read up on how you can control the urge.

Healthier latkes are possible!
Hanukkah isn’t the same without deep-fried potato pancakes. Boxed mixes or frozen versions are the typical go-to versions for many folks. But I was shocked to find ingredients like sulfites and palm oil (a trans fat) inpopular varieties. If you choose to do the boxed version, then read the ingredient list and choose wisely.

Come holiday time, you don’t need to eat an entire stack. Decide which nights you’ll indulge in one or two of these fried goodies and stick with lighter toppers like applesauce, nonfat Greek yogurt or reduced fat sour cream. If you really need the full-fat sour cream, then a dollop (about 1 tablespoon) should do the trick. Need more tricks for lighter latkes? Check out our tips here.

Latkes don’t always have to be fried. Choose a night or two to try these lighter versions.

Plan Wisely
Your Hanukkah can include traditional goodies, but be sure to balance out the rest of the meal with non-fried options that are lower in calories like in this sample menu.

TELL US: How do you avoid overindulging in fried food during Hanukkah?

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Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

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