Dr. Friedman’s Health Blog

Eggnog: More fat, sugar and calories than a Big Mac!

By: Dr. David Friedman

Tis’ the season—holiday parties, shopping for gifts, fruitcake and eggnog!  According to Indiana University, over 135 million pounds of eggnog is  consumed by Americans each year. From Thanksgiving to New Years, the average person will gain 8-10 pounds and eggnog is definitely considered a major belt unbuckler at the holiday dinner table. Beyond that delicious creamy taste, eggnog is basically a cup of fat and sugar (usually corn syrup).  Some eggnog brands cram as many as 440 calories, 58 grams of sugar and 10 grams of saturated fat into a single 8-ounce serving. Add rum to the mix and top it off with some whipped cream and it can escalate to a whopping 750 calories! To put that into perspective, a fully loaded Big Mac contains 210 fewer calories, 49 grams less sugar and 8.7 grams less saturated fat.       Ho Ho Holy heart attack!

But it is the holidays, a time to binge and I’m no Grinch!  If eggnog falls into your “splurge-worthy” category, here’s some smarter ways to enjoy this festive beverage without worrying about a paramedic putting paddles on your chest and yelling, “CLEAR!”

*Opt for the ready-made "light" eggnog varieties available at most grocery stores. This can cut the calories and fat content by 40%.

* In my book Food Sanity, how to eat in a world of fads and fiction, I share why I am not a fan of consuming cow’s milk. Eggnog made from almond milk or cashew milk is a healthier option and available at most traditional and health food grocery stores. These dairy substitutes offer a  delicious creamy texture that has the same consistency as traditional eggnog, with 60% fewer calories.

*If you want to add whipped cream, try using coconut whipped cream instead. This offers reduced calories without compromising flavor.

* If you add alcohol, use it sparingly. Mixing saturated fat, sugar with alcohol spikes your insulin level and puts a serious strain your digestive system. If you choose to add spirits to your eggnog, use just half an ounce. Rum and whiskey generally have the same amount of calories, which is slightly less than bourbon, brandy and whisky. Or, add some natural non-alcohol rum extract.

                                             MAKE YOUR OWN EGGNOG

Making your own eggnog is not difficult and can actually be a fun holiday ritual with the family.   It also allows you to have full control over what ingredients you use. Commercial eggnog uses pure corn syrup or sugar. Making your own allows you to use healthier sugar substitutes like liquid stevia extract or coconut sugar. If you are vegan, you can use egg substitutes and for a dairy alternative, use coconut milk, almond milk or cashew milk instead.    


HOME MADE EGGNOG (serves 8)

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large organic pasture raised eggs
  • 2 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp liquid stevia (or you can use 4 packets of coconut sugar.)
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 4 cups unsweetened almond milk (or you can use cashew milk, or coconut milk.)
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream (use coconut whipped cream for dairy-free)
  • Natural non-alcohol rum extract.


INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Whisk eggs, yolks, sweetener and salt together in a large saucepan. Slowly whisk in almond milk until well combined. Using a candy thermometer, cook mixture over low heat while stirring constantly, until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and registers 165F (this can take up to 15 minutes).
  2. Stir in 2 tsp vanilla and nutmeg. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for three hours.
  3. Just before serving, whip cream with powdered sweetener and remaining vanilla into soft peaks and gently fold into the egg mixture. Stir gently and sprinkle with grated nutmeg.

 

Home Made Coconut Whipped Cream

If you have a dairy allergy, coconut milk provides a healthy and delicious alternative. If you want to make it super healthy, leave out the sugar and add an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract.

INGREDIENTS

  • 14-ounce can coconut cream or full fat coconut milk.
  • ½ cup powdered stevia
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract


INSTRUCTIONS
       

  1. Chill the coconut cream or milk overnight in the can. Keep the can in an upright position to encourage the separation of liquid annd cream.
  2. About 15 minutes before you're ready to begin making the whipped cream, chill a large metal mixing bowl in the freezer. This will the keep the ingredients cold and ensure solidification.
  3. Once the bowl is icy cold, remove the coconut cream or coconut milk from the refrigerator and remove the lid. Be careful not to shake it up or toss it around, as we want the cream to be fully separated from the liquid.
  4. Scrape out the thickened cream from the top of the can (about half of the can) and place in the mixing bowl.
  5. Beat for about 30 seconds or until creamy, then add the vanilla and powdered stevia.
  6. Beat for another minute until soft peaks form.
  7. Freeze for 20 minutes before serving and keep refrigerated in-between desserts.
About the Author

Dr. David Friedman is a  Doctor of Naturopathy, Chiropractic Neurologist, Clinical Nutritionist, Board Certified Alternative Medical Practitioner, and Board Certified in Integrative Medicine.  He's the author of Food Sanity, how to eat in a world of fads and fiction.         

 Dr. Friedman is a syndicated television health expert and host of  To Your Good Health Radio, which has changed the face of talk radio by incorporating entertainment, shock value and solutions to everyday health and wellness issues.

 FoodSanity.com

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