8 Healthier Holiday Swaps for Your Favorite Foods

Holli Lapes, RD, LD/N

What if you could enjoy all the holiday flavors you love, minus the added calories?

This holiday season, make choices that will give you a better bang for your buck or in this case, more nutrient dense options considering the calories.

Every time we eat, we have the opportunity to nourish our body – use each opportunity wisely!

Healthier Swaps for Holiday Foods

This Christmas, instead of ham, opt for lean pork loin or turkey. Why make the swap: Ham is higher in saturated fat (the not-so-healthy kind of fat) and is usually caramelized with sugar for Christmas. Pork tenderloin and loin chop are leaner cuts of pork, meaning less fat, as compared to ham. The same goes for turkey! Since these cuts are leaner, be sure that they don’t become dry. Skip the heavy gravy and use a broth. In lieu of canned cranberry, try to make your own! Homemade cranberry sauce is actually pretty easy to make and will offer way less added sugar and more fiber than the canned stuff.

Instead of mashed potatoes, try smashed sweet potatoes, purple potatoes or mashed cauliflower. Why make the swap: mashed potatoes are starchy and deliver a hefty amount of carbs. Sweet potatoes and purple potatoes will offer more nutritional value by providing vitamin A and antioxidants. Why smash instead of mash? When you smash, you are including the skin of the potato and thus more fiber and minerals! Cauliflower is actually a non-starchy vegetable so feel free to serve yourself a hefty scoop! On Hanukkah, instead of fried potato pancakes (latkes) try a baked variation and skip all the added fat. Get creative and grate some carrots & zucchini into those potato pancakes!

Swap your sugar cookies for some nutritiously delicious oat cookies with nuts and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Less sugar, more fiber, protein and healthy fat. Can I get a hallelujah? Fruit cake – wait does anyone actually eat that stuff? Just kidding. Fruit cake is usually packed with sugary dried fruit and dyed with unnatural coloring. Have a low calorie angel cake with fresh fruit instead! For gingerbread men cookies, try using some fresh ginger or switch to ginger snaps which tend to be smaller. Ginger helps to ease inflammation and is wonderful for digestion. Candy canes are pretty much sticks of sugar, why not enjoy a nice hot cup of peppermint tea instead? If you must have candy canes, chop them up finely and make dark chocolate peppermint bark. Dark chocolate has antioxidants!

Other green light foods that are also festive: pumpkin, chestnuts, pears, Brussels sprouts and pomegranate. Happy Holidays!

Calorie Dense Foods

Nutrient Dense Alternatives

Mashed Potatoes Smashed Sweet Potatoes, Purple Potatoes or Mashed Cauliflower
Ham Lean Pork Loin or Turkey
Canned Cranberry Sauce Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Sugar Cookies Oat Cookies with Nuts & Spices
Fried Potato Pancakes (Latkes) Baked Potato, Carrot & Zucchini Pancakes
Fruit Cake Angel Food Cake with Fresh Fruit
Gingerbread Men Cookies Ginger Snaps
Candy Canes Peppermint Tea, Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark


Post a Comment

All Contents Copyright ©2021 Life Extension® All rights reserved.
Privacy Notice | Terms of Use
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your physician.