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Lighten Up Your Holiday Meal

People sharing holiday meal

Dec. 5 2022

Let's face it. Food is a huge part of our annual holiday celebrations. This year, enjoy your favorite dishes AND avoid the dreaded holiday weight gain by making a few easy food swaps

Turkey for ham. Turkey has more protein and less fat and calories than ham. And because ham is higher in sodium, making this swap is important for people who are following a low-sodium diet because of heart or blood pressure issues.

Brussels sprouts for green bean casserole. Green bean casserole is a common holiday staple but it's usually made cream-based soup, butter, and fried onions. For a healthier option, roast some Brussels sprouts in a little bit of olive oil (a healthy fat) and sprinkle them with salt and pepper to taste. For even more flavor, drizzle on a little balsamic vinegar after roasting. 

Roasted Brussels sprouts

Mashed cauliflower for mashed potato
. If you’re watching your carb intake, try substituting mashed cauliflower for half or all of the potatoes and add some Parmesan cheese for extra flavor. The USDA shares that one cup of cauliflower contains just over 5 grams of carbs while one large russet potato has 64 grams.

Roasted sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato casserole. You can still enjoy the essential flavors of this dish by roasting sweet potatoes and seasoning them with  cinnamon and and a light drizzle of maple syrup. You'll still get that sweet flavor with a lot less sugar and calories.

Baked sweet potatoes

Pumpkin pie for pecan pie. Not only does this food swap save you a lot of calories, but pumpkin also provides beta carotene, vitamin E, and iron. These nutrients can help boost your immune system.

Baked apple with cinnamon for apple pie. Apple pie may be a holiday standard, but you can lower the calories, fats, and carbs associated with this dessert and still savor that sweet, apple-cinnamon flavor by making baked apples instead of a pie.

Baked apples

Greek yogurt chocolate mousse for chocolate cake. Can't give up sumptuous flavor of chocolate during the holidays? Try making a dark chocolate mousse with Greek yogurt instead of a chocolate cake. It's intensely chocolatey and nearly fat free!

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Disclaimer: This blog is intended for general understanding and education about Lexington Medical Center. Nothing on the blog should be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Blog visitors with personal health or medical questions should consult their health care provider.