As the holiday season approaches, eating healthy may get difficult. The key to making healthier choices start with practicing portion control. It’s not the same when you deprive yourself of your traditional turkey, ham, casseroles dishes, or pies. There are also many swaps to make healthier, lower-calorie dishes while still packing tons of flavor.
Instead of using regular sour cream, replace with low-fat or nonfat plain Greek yogurt. A single ounce of sour cream has around 60 calories. An ounce of Greek yogurt has around 15-20 calories. Greek yogurt contains probiotics and is a good source of calcium.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato dishes aren’t only for Thanksgiving but Christmas too! Instead of preparing your sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar, cut them into cubes and roast with your favorite spices and olive oil. This helps cut sugar intake and creates a lighter side dish. Sweet potatoes contain a healthy dose of vitamins and nutrients and olive oil provides some healthy monounsaturated fats.
When preparing chicken or turkey, pick white meats. White meats have a leaner cut compared to dark meat. Dark meat turkey has about twice the fat content of turkey breast. A 3.5-ounce portion of dark turkey meat has around 230 calories while the same amount of turkey breast has 160 calories. This cuts around 70 calories and lowers saturated fat consumption.
Whole Wheat Rolls
With so many dishes to choose from on the table, dinner rolls are an easy item to skip especially since they tend to fill you up quickly. However, if you still prefer to have bread, consider whole wheat over white. When purchasing bread, read the nutrition label to make sure the ingredients are primarily whole wheat.
The best thing about homemade baked goods is that you are in control of what goes into your recipe. You can alter the taste according to your preferences. Store-bought pies are typically packed with refined sugar and flours, butter, and preservatives to extend shelf life. When baking from scratch at home, you are able to replace those products with more healthful ingredients.
Although it is healthier to make these swaps, there is nothing wrong with sticking to your original recipe. You shouldn’t deprive or restrict yourself during the holidays. Just remember to keep your portions in check and have everything in moderation. However, indulgences are normal during this time of year. Enjoy your Christmas with friends and family and bond over delicious good food!