The merry season is here and it usually arrives with a dose of carols and… calories! When it comes to sweets, guilt is the logical consequence of endless days indulging in pastries, cakes and, of course, the classic Christmas duo of the Greek table: Kouriabiedes and Melomakarona.
Greeks adore these two cookies and it’s often hard for them to decide which one to have. The logical consequence…? They have both. However, not everyone knows how fattening each one of these popular Christmas cookies can be. Let’s take a look at their ingredients so as to decide which of them to have.
Everybody loves shortbread cookies, if they’re soft and wrapped in a soft layer of confectioners sugar, much better. However, what people don’t know is how fattening one of these white treats can be.
Kouriabiedes contain a high level of saturated fat, especially harmful to the cardiovascular system. Covered by an abundant quantity of pure sugar, calories add up. Eat them in extreme moderation: One cookie weighing about 40 grams has about 240 calories and 9 grams of fat.
Melomakarona are healthier since their main fatty element is not butter but olive oil, thus containing less saturated fat. Olive oil makes them a better choice when it comes to the cardiovascular system. In fact, a cookie that’s about 35 grams contains 190 calories and 8 grams of fat. You can cook your own melomakarona so as to be certain of the genuine ingredients you use.
With sweets calories add fast, taking into account that these cookies are in average 220 calories each and that a normal diet should contain about 1300 calories per day… well, you just need 10 biscuits to have your daily quota of calories covered. Now, ten cookies do sound like a lot and you might be thinking: I would never eat ten of them!. However, put some serious thought into it and answer this question. How many biscuits do you carelessly have between coffee and conversation?
Other Christmas Sweets
The problem does not end there, though. Greeks love sweets and, especially during the holidays, it’s never just Melomakarona or Kouriabiedes, and calories keep adding.
Careful with this one! This cake uses lots of butter and eggs, the result is a very fattening sweet, high in calories and in unhealthy saturated fat. A portion of Vasilopita (about 100 grams) has 350 calories and 20 grams of fat.
Less fatty than you would have expected especially if fried in olive oil you will get the benefits of monounsaturated fatty acids. A portion of about 45 grams has 170 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.
These are a good compromise to make your sweet tooth happy and still fit in your favorite pair of jeans. Chestnuts, apart from being rich in fiber, have a lower caloric value than pastries and cakes. One piece (about 40g) contains 75 calories and almost no fat at all.
Chocolate is rich in beneficial antioxidants and it contains stearic acid which metabolizes as a beneficial monounsaturated fatty acid. Probably the healthiest treat during the holidays, provided you eat a moderate quantity. Experts suggest consuming from up to 20 grams of dark chocolate every day. Twenty grams of chocolate equal 110 calories and only 6.5 grams of fat.
Now you know your calories and can enjoy the holidays without feeling guilty. Making the right choice during the holidays is completely up to you!