Smart Food Substitutions for the Holidays

Cardiac Health | Monday, November 12th, 2012 | No Comments

You don’t have to dread the holiday table spread. Eat smarter and healthier instead.

The delicious foods that adorn the table at holiday time can be a temptation to overindulge. Making food substitutions can allow you to eat, drink, and be healthy. So celebrate in style and good health this holiday season.

Smart Substitutions

  • Dips with sour cream or mayonnaise: Hummus is a healthier choice
  • Fried appetizers/cheese & crackers: Shrimp cocktail is a lower calorie snack.
  • Salad dressing: Oil and vinegar or lemon juice adds flavor without excess fat.
  • Eggnog: Enjoy hot chocolate or flavored tea or coffee. Don’t add unnecessary sugar or cream.
  • Potatoes: Mashed cauliflower makes a healthy and tasty alternative with a similar texture and flavor.
  • Green bean casserole: Go with a grilled or roasted vegetable like asparagus or zucchini.
  • Sweet potato topping: Use cinnamon to bring out the natural sweetness instead of brown sugar.
  • Pecan pie: Pumpkin pie is lower calorie, just skip the whipped toppings.
  • Salted or candied nuts: Enjoy spiced and toasted almonds instead.
  • Fruitcake: Bake up an angel food cake with fresh berries for a lighter dessert.
  • Salt: Try spices to add flavor without the sodium.
  • Alcoholic drinks: Sparkling water and 100% fruit juice makes a tasty spritzer.
  • Put sauces and gravy on the side and use a small amount just for flavor.

Many ingredients can also be substituted to make a healthier dish.

  • Skim instead of whole milk
  • Egg whites or egg substitute for whole eggs
  • Dried fruit instead of chocolate chips
  • Whole grain flour, bread, or rice instead of white
  • Half-and-half or fat-free evaporated milk instead of cream
  • Margarine instead of butter
  • Graham cracker crust instead of traditional
  • Fruit in water or juice instead of syrup

You can reduce your overall food intake by focusing on the social element of the holiday. Spend more time catching up and less time snacking. Making smart food substitutions this holiday season can help you keep off the weight, reduce your risk for illness, and make you feel better all over.

Learn more about the Importance of Healthy Eating in our online health library. Central Florida Cardiac & Vascular Institute wishes you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season.

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