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The 10 Worst Holiday Foods to Eat

Who knew that food so small could have such a big impact on your waistline? Here, the top 10 worst appetizers to indulge in this season.

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Rebecca Lacey/Retna UK
Evan Sklar
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Peter Ardito
Kate Sears
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Think Before You Nosh

When it comes to party hors d'oeuvres, it's hard to imagine that just a few bite-size morsels could really do some damage to your figure. Yet those oh-so-cute appetizers are packed with some not-so-nice calories and fat. Take a closer look at the top 10 small-yet-deceiving nibbles -- you'll be amazed how quickly they can add up.

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Spinach Artichoke Dip with Chips

Spinach and artichokes? No problem. Now for the caloric culprits: After you mix in cream cheese, sour cream, and sometimes even mayo, you end up with 220 calories and 22 grams of fat for a mere dollop (1/4 cup), says Rachel Beller, RD, founder of the Beller Nutritional Institute. Scoop your dip with just five fried tortilla chips and you're coming in at around 307 calories.

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Vegetable Egg Rolls

Don't be fooled by the innocent-sounding name. Those vegetables filling the roll are sauteed in oil, tossed in a fatty sauce, and then deep-fried. "You're looking at 150 to 200 calories for just one small egg roll," warns Beller.

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Tuna Tartare

Depending on how it's cooked and what it could be soaked in, this is a classic example of taking something healthy and turning it into a calorie-packed nightmare. "With two small tuna tartare canapes weighing in at a heavy 384 calories and 12 grams of fat, you're better off steering clear of these completely," says Beller. For a healthier choice, take the tuna off the bread, which packs on unwanted calories.

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Mini Potato Knish

These comforting, cute knishes are a popular appetizer among vegetarians. But one of these tiny turnovers has 100 calories and 8 grams of fat! That's 100 calories for just two bites of food.

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Vegetable Quesadilla

Let's break this one down: A 6-inch quesadilla made with 2 flour tortillas, cheddar cheese, and veggies can actually add up to an astounding 586 calories and a disturbing 33 grams of fat! Eat just one quarter of the quesadilla, and that wedge will set you back 146 calories and 11 grams of fat, before you've even moved on to any other appetizers.

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Pigs in a Blanket

They're small, they're fun, and they're also 70 calories and 5 grams of fat per piece. "The average person eats at least three. And the average person also already has a cocktail in hand before reaching for these, which means they're already at least 150 calories in the game; now they're over 350 calories," says Beller.

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Cream-Based Soups

Soup can often have the smoke and mirrors of looking nutritious, but depending on what's in it the opposite is often true. Just one cup of clam chowder can have 163 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 1,144 milligrams of sodium. Opt for soups with a clear broth, like vegetable, for a better bet.

Try these 12 simple soup recipes that slash mega calories but keep the hearty taste

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These spinach-filled bites of phyllo dough are a favorite at any party, but don't get too friendly: With one small triangle, you'll have consumed 80 calories and 4 grams of fat.

Whip this healthy recipe up instead the next time you're craving Greek

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Mixed Nuts

Yes, nuts are nutritious, but keep in mind that "good for you" does not always mean low-cal, especially if you throw portion control to the wind. "A small handful of Planters mixed nuts (1/4 cup) nets you a whopping 340 calories," says Beller. This pre-dinner snack also supplies a lot of salt and fat, which could lead to a bloated belly before you even sit down to dinner. Though they're a good food source to keep you feeling full until dinner, be mindful of how often you're snacking on them to play it safe.

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It's the holidays, and the candy dish or chocolate box will inevitably be making its annual appearance. An occasional treat is perfectly fine, as long as you know when to walk away. A good rule of thumb is to have one piece of what you really want and then stop snacking. And don't forget to sip on water to nix dehydration, which you may be mistaking for hunger.

Originally published on, November 2011.

Test out one of our favorite guilt-free ways to eat chocolate

For more nutrition advice, weight loss help, and tips visit

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What do you think? Review this slideshow!

shartran wrote:

Had no idea that Tuna Tartar was such a calorie filled treat! It looks so fresh and 'clean'! It would probably be the first (until now...)thing I would have picked!

12/23/2013 06:28:41 AM Report Abuse
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12/13/2013 04:21:23 PM Report Abuse
cazabrown wrote:

I love these tips, if you really can't resist then book yourself on a residential weight loss and fitness camp they are great fun and you can lose up to 7lbs in just 4 days!!

12/5/2011 02:29:41 PM Report Abuse
MDG8892 wrote:

I read this list of 10 worst holiday foods and then checked out the list of 10 healthiest party foods on this same website. "Mixed nuts" appears on both lists. Even the photo is the same.

11/30/2011 07:35:49 PM Report Abuse
sisusal wrote:


11/17/2011 11:31:53 AM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

There are ways to lighten up a lot of these things. I only make some of these things once a year so stop being such a Grinch!

11/17/2011 10:16:47 AM Report Abuse

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