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Published on October 31, 2016

assorted spices and herbs

Be Festive Without the Added Fat

Starting with Halloween, and moving right into Thanksgiving and Christmas, the last three months of the year are full of festive events, cookie baking and family feasts.

So how do you get through the holidays without totally blowing all the healthy lifestyle changes you’ve been making the past few months? This month’s challenge is to think healthy this holiday.

Making Healthier Choices

Hy-Vee Dietitian Kristin Sousek has some great tips to enjoy the holidays by knowing when to make healthy choices and when to just enjoy the moment.

  • For holiday potlucks at work and with friends, volunteer to bring a healthy dish so you have at least one good option to enjoy.
  • Use the buddy system and split a dessert with a friend or just take a half portion so you can treat yourself.
  • Watch out for seasonal drinks. Eggnog and pumpkin spice lattes are yummy but they’re also packed with sugar. If you’re already indulging in other heavy foods it’s best to avoid these or at least cut back.
  • Prepare and eat healthier meals at home when you’re more in control of ingredients.
  • Keep portions in check. Keep in mind that casseroles and dressing can have more fat and are best enjoyed in smaller portions. Do the same with gravy.

Making Meals Healthier

If you’re doing the cooking, here are a few tips to make traditional meals healthier.

  • For baking, instead of butter substitute equal parts unsweetened applesauce. For cooking, substitute with broth or oils (olive, avocado).
  • Add an extra veggie dish to the menu for another healthy option.
  • Use low-fat or skim milk instead of whole milk or cream.
  • Bake, grill or steam vegetables instead of frying.
  • Check labels and choose foods with lower amounts of sodium and sugars.
  • Opt for whole wheat breads, rice and pasta.
  • Make use of herbs and spices for natural flavor without the fat.

Live Better. Live Balanced. Avera.

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