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Concocting Healthier Winter Comfort Foods

By Brandi Swieter 

Comfort foods make common choices for meals in the winter. The cold weather makes people want to curl up with a hot bowl of soup, strew, or another family favorite. Most of these options are less than ideal, with added fat, sugar, and calories. Concocting healthier winter comfort foods is the best option for anyone wanting to enjoy their old favorites while still maintaining their wellness.

Cook from Scratch

One of the best options is cooking from scratch. It ensures you're able to make changes to dishes that turn them into healthier choices. You get to monitor the amount of sugar, salt, and other unhealthy additions to the meals you create. If a recipe calls for a lot of sugar, you can choose to go lighter. You can also find other substitutes that would be a more beneficial source of sweetness, or choose to add more vegetables when only a small amount was required. 

Use Feta or Goat Cheese

Many types of cheese are heavy on calories and fat. Grilled cheese and tomato soup, as well as macaroni and cheese, are two common comfort food choices. Using feta or goat cheese in these dishes is a helpful way to lower the fat content and keep the meal healthy. 

Go Whole Wheat

Bread or biscuits are part of many comfort food options. Biscuits and gravy, for example, is a common staple. There are far too many calories and unhealthy ingredients in this dish. Going whole wheat and using a healthier option for the biscuits or for bread in other recipes is an easy way to add more nutrition to the mix. 

Cook with Low-Fat Ingredients

Butter, oil, and milk are three of the most common ingredients involved in many comfort foods. These can all be substituted with low-fat ingredients to help cut the calories on the dish. Use a low-fat sour cream in place of butter in mashed potatoes or a low-fat milk or non-fat milk in ice cream. 

Eat a Smaller Portion

If you prefer not to make the substitutions and eat it the way your mom or grandma made, then that's your prerogative. Just be sure to cut your portion size so you're not eating so much of it. Take a small scoop of the comfort food on your plate and add fruits and veggies to the other side of it to ensure you get filled up. 

Enjoy traditional comfort foods with fewer calories by making substitutions. These foods can still be enjoyed as long as they're made in healthier ways. Nutrition should always be the main point of food.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Indianapolis, Ind.

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