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.
And 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.
Look for the Heart-Check mark to quickly and easily spot foods certified by the American Heart Association to meet our nutritional guidelines for being heart healthy. It's a good first step to eating better.