Dear Dr. Kadile, I’m trying to eat healthy during this holiday season and increase my fruits and vegetables. That includes fruitcake, right?
-Scott, Bermuda Dunes
Scott, the classic fruit cake associated with the holidays may contain a lot of fruit, but it also has plenty of sugar, butter, corn syrup and sometimes alcohol such as rum. A slice of fruitcake may contain up to 410 calories and 13 grams of fat. The typical fruit cake is literally very heavy and you are better off using it for exercise as hand weights. Fruitcakes have also been known to be good doorstops or paperweights.
Dear Dr. Kadile, my grandmother brings over a great Yule log for Christmas, how many pieces should I have?
-Joseph, Yucca Valley
Joseph, I’m assuming your grandmother brings over a great Christmas cake and not a large log of wood to be burned in the fireplace. The Yule log associated with dessert is mainly composed of chocolate, heavy cream, butter and sponge cake. Some recipes may also include pecans and coconut. If your grandmother makes her Yule log from a grocery bought cake mix, it may contain up to 420 calories and 47 grams of sugar! I would suggest you have a very small piece.
Dear Dr. K, is homemade eggnog better?
-Teresa, Indian Wells
Well, Teresa, it depends on what ingredients are used for the homemade recipe. Traditional eggnog recipes consist of milk, sugar, raw eggs, and spices, usually nutmeg. Cream or gelatin may be added along with alcohol such as bourbon. One cup of eggnog can have up to 343 calories and 21 grams of sugar. The store bought eggnog in a carton will usually contain artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Stick with the homemade stuff, but only have a small cup if you’re worried about your weight.
Dear Dr. Kadile, I’ve heard that mistletoe is poisonous. Is it lethal?
-Leo, Cathedral City
Leo, mistletoe does contain harmful toxins and the berries are considered dangerous.
But, recent studies have shown that accidental ingestion has not resulted in any fatalities. A few people have had severe reactions, but a majority had no symptoms or may just have upset stomachs. It appears it is not deadly, but can be hazardous.