The food options during the holidays are vast and we all anticipate the delicious food. How can you not, when there’s sugar cookies and homemade pecan pie everywhere you turn?
We all know that holiday food isn’t particularly healthy. All it takes is a couple of servings of stuffing before you become, well… stuffed. Fortunately, there are some healthy holiday food swaps that will allow you to enjoy holiday eating without feeling constantly uncomfortable and full. We understand that there are some non-negotiables like your grandma’s classic mashed potatoes, but we encourage you to use these trade-offs to ensure that you still have healthy options on the dinner table.
If you tend to consume alcohol during family gatherings, choose a spritzer or a glass of wine to help keep your calories in check. Red wine has fewer calories than most alcoholic beverages, plus, it contains resveratrol – a great antioxidant that is not only anti-aging, it is also good for the heart!
If you are a fan of meat lasagna and meatballs, know that lentils are a healthier alternative. This means making a lentil Bolognese sauce and lentil meatballs versus meat, which is high in fat. Lentils are packed with protein and fiber, plus, you get to cut down on saturated fat and calories by doing away with meat. Bonus: lentils actually taste great!
3. Cinnamon tea
If you feel that you are going overboard with sugar, drink a cup of cinnamon tea instead of going for hot cocoa topped with whipped cream. This delicious and cozy tea may even help decrease blood sugar, thanks to cinnamon’s ability to improve blood glucose levels.
4. Frozen grapes
Instead of eating desserts and sweets, try reaching out for frozen grapes. Grapes are not only delicious and sweet; they are a great source of polyphenols and antioxidants.
Yearning for creamy treats? Avocado is a great source of naturally good fats. Plus, it’s a heart-healthy fruit!
6. Greek yogurt
Instead of dunking your veggies or chips into a bowl of sour cream, use a Greek yogurt-based dip. It is packed with calcium, crammed with protein, and oozing with probiotics.
Sure, casseroles are crowd pleasers, but they are not very friendly to your health and waistline. Why not cook sweet potatoes with a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon? Sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin A.
Yes, you can enjoy the good eats this season without sacrificing your health with these healthy holiday food swaps. The key is eating healthy throughout the season while remembering portion control when it comes to your non-negotiable favorite dishes.