Making the Holidays Healthier for All
By Brandi Swieter
The holiday season sees an upswing in unhealthy foods and drinks. People are much more likely to overeat as they find themselves at Thanksgiving dinner with their family or a Christmas party with a table full of treats for work. Eggnog, fruit punch, and alcohol drinks are common beverage choices, all of which are full of sugar and calories. Finding a way to make these favorites healthier should be the goal. It will help make the holidays healthier for all.
Make Substitutions with Recipes
People don't have to completely forgo eating their favorite foods. Instead, they can make substitutions with the recipes to enhance their nutrition and lessen their caloric value. Using extra virgin olive oil in place of butter, for example, is a start.
Start With Low-Fat Dips
Many meals start with appetizers, and that may include a dip. Even if people are dipping vegetables in these concoctions, they're still getting calories and fat that they don't need. Low-fat dips are the way to go this holiday season. They contain less than half of the calories and are better for the body overall. Yogurt is a great alternative to sour cream when it comes to making dips.
Spice Up Veggies Rather than Sweetening Them
Cooks tend to make sweetened versions of foods, such as candied yams. These contain far more calories and are not an ideal dish to make. Spicing up veggies is a better way to make them worthwhile. Most spices don't add extra calories or fat and can enhance the taste of the dish with just a small amount.
Choose the White Meat
Darker meat does have some additional nutrients, such as iron and zinc, but it also contains more calories. Choosing the white meat on the turkey is a better solution for those who are calorie counting. It doesn't have as much fat and is considered the healthier portion. It's also important to note that even the dark meat found in poultry is still healthier to consume than red meat. People who tend to cook a roast beef around the holidays should try a leaner meat instead.
A healthier holiday season should be on everyone's goal list if they want to improve their own health and the health of others around them, including their family members. Enhancing well-being starts with eating the right foods. Choose better options throughout the holidays and make substitutions so everyone eating the meal gets the benefits.
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