The holiday season is about family and food—and all too often, adding a few extra pounds to our waistlines. Try these smart substitutions for your favorite holiday meals.
Remember to increase your physical activity during the holiday season by going for a family walk after each meal or gathering. Shooting hoops, jumping rope or playing catch are also good family activities.
- Instead of butter, substitute equal parts cinnamon-flavored, no-sugar-added applesauce.
- Instead of sugar, use a lower-calorie sugar substitute.
- Instead of whole or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or skim milk.
- Instead of using only white flour, use half white and half whole-wheat flour.
- Instead of adding chocolate chips or candies, use dried fruit, like cranberries or cherries.
- Use extracts like vanilla, almond and peppermint to add flavor, instead of sugar or butter.
- Use vegetable oils such as olive oil instead of butter.
- Use herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves, to flavor dishes instead of butter and salt.
- Use whole-grain breads and pastas instead of white.
- Bake, grill or steam vegetables instead of frying.
- Instead of whole milk or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or fat-free/skim milk.
- Instead of alcohol in mixed drinks, use club soda.
- Instead of adding sugar to mixed drinks, mix 100-percent juice with water or use freshly squeezed juice, like lime.
- Instead of using heavy cream or whole milk in dairy-based drinks, use low-fat or skim milk.
- Instead of using sugar to sweeten cider, use spices and fruit, like cinnamon, cloves and cranberries.
Contributed by The American Heart Association