The holidays are a time for family, friends, and of course, food! But with all the delicious treats that come with the season, it can be hard to stay on track with your health goals. That’s why it’s important to make healthy swaps for your favorite holiday dishes. Here are 15 healthy holiday food swaps that will help you enjoy the season without sacrificing your health.
15 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps
The holidays are a time for indulging in delicious treats, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health. Here are 15 healthy holiday food swaps that will help you stay on track with your health goals while still enjoying the season.
1. Swap White Potatoes for Sweet Potatoes
White potatoes are high in carbohydrates and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Sweet potatoes are a healthier alternative as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are also lower in carbohydrates and can help keep your blood sugar levels stable.
2. Swap White Rice for Quinoa
White rice is a refined grain that is high in carbohydrates and low in fiber. Quinoa is a whole grain that is packed with protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients. It is also lower in carbohydrates and can help keep you feeling full for longer.
3. Swap White Bread for Whole-Grain Bread
White bread is made from refined flour and is low in fiber and other essential nutrients. Whole-grain bread is made from whole grains and is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is also lower in carbohydrates and can help keep you feeling full for longer.
4. Swap Regular Pasta for Whole-Grain Pasta
Regular pasta is made from refined flour and is low in fiber and other essential nutrients. Whole-grain pasta is made from whole grains and is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is also lower in carbohydrates and can help keep you feeling full for longer.
5. Swap Regular Cheese for Low-Fat Cheese
Regular cheese is high in fat and calories. Low-fat cheese is a healthier alternative as it is lower in fat and calories. It is also packed with calcium and other essential nutrients.
6. Swap Regular Milk for Non-Dairy Milk
Regular milk is high in fat and calories. Non-dairy milk is a healthier alternative as it is lower in fat and calories. It is also packed with calcium and other essential nutrients.
7. Swap Regular Yogurt for Greek Yogurt
Regular yogurt is high in sugar and calories. Greek yogurt is a healthier alternative as it is lower in sugar and calories. It is also packed with protein and other essential nutrients.
8. Swap Regular Ice Cream for Frozen Yogurt
Regular ice cream is high in sugar and calories. Frozen yogurt is a healthier alternative as it is lower in sugar and calories. It is also packed with calcium and other essential nutrients.
9. Swap Regular Cookies for Fruit and Nut Bars
Regular cookies are high in sugar and calories. Fruit and nut bars are a healthier alternative as they are lower in sugar and calories. They are also packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
10. Swap Regular Chocolate for Dark Chocolate
Regular chocolate is high in sugar and calories. Dark chocolate is a healthier alternative as it is lower in sugar and calories. It is also packed with antioxidants and other essential nutrients.
11. Swap Regular Soda for Sparkling Water
Regular soda is high in sugar and calories. Sparkling water is a healthier alternative as it is lower in sugar and calories. It is also packed with minerals and other essential nutrients.
12. Swap Regular Juice for Freshly Squeezed Juice
Regular juice is high in sugar and calories. Freshly squeezed juice is a healthier alternative as it is lower in sugar and calories. It is also packed with vitamins and other essential nutrients.
13. Swap Regular Nuts for Roasted Nuts
Regular nuts are high in fat and calories. Roasted nuts are a healthier alternative as they are lower in fat and calories. They are also packed with protein and other essential nutrients.
14. Swap Regular Salad Dressing for Olive Oil and Vinegar
Regular salad dressing is high in fat and calories. Olive oil and vinegar are a healthier alternative as they are lower in fat and calories. They are also packed with antioxidants and other essential nutrients.
15. Swap Regular Butter for Coconut Oil
Regular butter is high in fat and calories. Coconut oil is a healthier alternative as it is lower in fat and calories. It is also packed with healthy fats and other essential nutrients.
The vacation season—from Thanksgiving to Hanukkah to Christmas to New 12 months’s Day—is commonly regarded as essentially the most magical time of the 12 months, with a lot to have fun. However this time of 12 months may also be annoying for a lot of causes, particularly for many who are nonetheless attempting to construct a wholesome relationship with meals. Weight fluctuation is regular, particularly through the holidays when many individuals achieve a median of 1 pound. However the influence of spending weeks ignoring what your physique actually craves and desires, in addition to overriding starvation and fullness cues can do harm for months after the decorations are packed away.
Whereas an vital a part of having a wholesome, aware strategy towards consuming consists of permitting your self to take pleasure in your favourite meals, it is also vital to be sure you are nonetheless assembly your dietary wants. With this in thoughts, there are lots of easy wholesome vacation meals swaps you can also make. This manner, you may take pleasure in scrumptious meals whereas additionally getting loads of nutritional vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and wholesome carbs and fat. Sound too good to be true? Listed below are some methods to make the season more healthy and happier with these wholesome vacation meals swaps. And when you’re at it, check out these 21 Greatest Wholesome Cooking Hacks of All Time.
Pot pies are a preferred approach to make use of up vacation dinner leftovers or to take pleasure in one easy entrée for smaller dinners. However this dish could be excessive in fats and sodium. You’ll be able to nonetheless get that savory, comforting style you crave in a Shepard’s Pie, although. Strive swapping the meat for lentils, then layer in your favourite greens and prime with mashed cauliflower or candy potatoes for a dietary enhance.
Candy potato casserole is loaded with added sugars, from the brown sugar the potatoes are tossed in all the best way to the coating of both candied pecans or toasted marshmallows. You’ll be able to nonetheless benefit from the important flavors of this dish by roasting candy potatoes and seasoning them with warming spices like cinnamon and even including a drizzle of actual maple syrup. This manner, you may get that candy taste with much less sugar and all the advantages of candy potatoes: beta-carotene, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.
Inexperienced bean casserole is not for everybody, so if your loved ones does not love this dish, it is simple to swap it for contemporary inexperienced beans. You’ll be able to add a bit crunch (in addition to protein and wholesome fat) by tossing in toasted nuts, or take pleasure in them dressed with simply salt, pepper, and garlic. In addition to, inexperienced bean casserole is a a lot much less dietary dish, as a result of it’s usually ready with cream of mushroom soup and topped with fried onions. That makes every portion stuffed with sodium, which may depart you feeling bloated or with a headache shortly after consuming.
Nobody desires to surrender mashed potatoes for the vacations, however you may add a nutritious punch by swapping out a few of this beloved starchy vegetable for some cauliflower. You will not discover a lot of a distinction in style, however you may get loads of advantages from making this adjustment, as cauliflower is excessive in vitamin C and serves as a great supply of folate, too.
When you love eggnog, there is not any cause to deprive your self of this tasty deal with through the holidays. However as a substitute of ingesting the normal model, attempt a non-dairy various. A typical carton of eggnog on the grocery retailer has is full of energy and is excessive in fats, saturated fats, and sugar. However non-dairy choices are surprisingly lighter, with lower than 100 energy per serving, usually lower than 10 grams of sugar, no ldl cholesterol, and no saturated fats. And—dare we are saying—the dairy-free choices are much more scrumptious!
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Who can resist sufganiyot? These pillowy, jelly-filled donuts are sufficient to make your mouth water simply considering of them. However in case you are focusing in your well being this vacation season, a deep-fried dessert might be not on the menu. Though deep frying sufganiyot in oil is custom, as oil performs an vital position in Hanukkah celebrations, you may nonetheless take pleasure in a lighter model of this recipe by baking the donuts. Pay homage to the oil that lasted eight days by way of different dishes on the desk.
‘Tis the season for baked items, however days on finish of consuming a lot sugar will certainly depart you feeling unbalanced. Fortunately, there are lots of methods to healthify these candy treats, and that is by swapping the sugar, oil, and even flour for extra nutritious choices. They will not smash the flavour or texture of your favorites both! The Academy of Diet and Dietetics gives many concepts, together with fruit purees like bananas or applesauce rather than butter and oil, swapping bleached all-purpose flour for whole-wheat flour or gluten-free flour options, and lowering the quantity of sugar. If you select to swap in fruit purees, the recipe will naturally want much less sugar due to the pure sugars in fruit!
It is simply not Hanukkah with out the latkes. Whereas fried potato pancakes aren’t precisely the poster baby for well being, they will nonetheless be simply as scrumptious and extra nutritious with just a few easy modifications. You’ll be able to attempt baking the latkes slightly than frying them, sneaking in additional veggies like shredded zucchini and carrots with the potatoes, and serving them with a aspect of selfmade applesauce and Greek yogurt rather than bitter cream.
When you do determine to fry the latkes, Douglas Twenefour, senior scientific advisor at Diabetes U.Ok., advises, “Conventional Hanukkah meals are all about oil, but when you need to use oil in cooking do not forget that not all fat are the identical. It’s preferable to make use of unsaturated fat like olive, rapeseed, or sunflower oil than merchandise with extra saturated fats like butter, ghee, and lard.”
Many individuals are discovered with a drink in hand as a part of the vacation celebrations. If you wish to utterly nix the alcohol, attempt a glowing water mocktail or kombucha; in any other case, go for purple wine. After all, too many glasses spell bother, however the antioxidants in purple wine could assist elevate HDL (“good”) levels of cholesterol and even scale back blood clot formations.
Apple pie is a fixture on the dessert desk, however you may scale back among the energy, fat, and carbs related to this dessert and nonetheless savor that candy, heat apple-cinnamon taste. And that is by making baked apples as a substitute of constructing a complete pie.
Whether or not its macaroni and cheese, noodle kugel, selfmade hen and noodles, or some other pasta dish you may consider, it is attainable to swap some or the entire noodles for spiralized veggies or spaghetti squash. That is a simple swap if you need extra vitamins or are following a low-carb or gluten-free eating regimen.
If cheese balls and crackers are a typical appetizer at your vacation dinner desk, why not attempt mixing it up this 12 months with hummus, pita, and contemporary veggies? Cheese balls are sometimes made with cream cheese and processed meat, that means they’ve loads of fats and sodium. However hummus, particularly selfmade, is low in sodium and excessive in protein, wholesome fat, and fiber—plus, it tastes nice.
Everybody tends to succeed in for the rolls initially of dinner, however swapping these bleached white bread appetizers for whole-grain choices will supply many extra well being advantages. If you additionally swap butter for dipping oil (with a bit balsamic vinegar for additional taste), it turns into even more healthy and feels extra elegant. Entire-grain breads are literally nice sources of fiber, protein, and B nutritional vitamins and can assist scale back the danger of stroke, diabetes, and coronary heart illness.
Gravy is simple to loosen up by selecting contemporary components slightly than jarred choices on the grocery retailer, that are full of sodium and preservatives. As a substitute, amp up the flavour and the vitamins through the use of drippings from the meat you have cooked up, or selecting a low-sodium broth together with contemporary herbs, low-fat milk, and a bit little bit of cornstarch.
It is no secret that mac and cheese is a favourite dish on many vacation menus. A part of its attraction is that and it is surprisingly versatile. There are such a lot of methods to make a more healthy macaroni and cheese. You’ll be able to swap common noodles for a grain-free choice like chickpea or lentil noodles. And you may need to select a cheese with sturdy taste, which implies you should utilize much less of it to scale back fats on this dish. One other thought? Swap milk or heavy cream with a bit Greek yogurt for extra protein. You’ll be able to even sneak in veggies by pureeing butternut squash, candy potatoes, or carrots so as to add to the cheese sauce.