7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps

Switch ups that taste as good as the original

When it comes to holiday meals, we tend to forget about the healthy diet and lifestyle choices we make the rest of the year in favor of whatever is put in front of us, which is completely okay. There is no harm in enjoying in a holiday meal; however, sometimes, we overdo it and wish we had used a little more discretion to avoid the stuffed and bloated feeling.

To have a healthier holiday, you don’t have to throw all your traditional favorites out the window. Instead, you can make a few swaps to just a few of the dishes on the menu and still make a dent in your calorie intake (and guilt too)! Here are seven healthy holiday food swaps that taste just as good as the traditional offerings:

7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps - Switch ups that taste as good as the original

1. Swap Creamy Dip and Chips For Hummus and Fresh Cut Veggies

Creamy dips, an appetizer favorite, made from full fat sour cream or cream cheese pack a whole lot of calories! Before you know it, a few scoops of dip could add up to more calories than should be consumed in one meal. Instead of creamy dip and chips, save your calories for the main course and try eating fresh cut veggies with hummus. Made with chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and tahini, hummus is packed with the good stuff and only provides 1g of fat per tablespoon!

7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps - Switch ups that taste as good as the original

2. Swap Mashed Potatoes For Mashed Cauliflower

Just replacing mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower is the first step to saving unnecessary calories. A 1-cup serving of potatoes delivers 113 calories and 2 g of fiber; whereas, a 1-cup serving of cauliflower provides just 25 calories and 3 g of fiber. To save even more calories, skip over the cream and butter, and use roasted garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary or fresh chives.

7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps - Switch ups that taste as good as the original

3. Swap Dark Turkey Meat For White Turkey Meat

Dark turkey meat is tempting and tasty, but it also has whole lot more fat and calories! A serving of skinless turkey breast meat provides 30 g of protein, 2 g of fat and only 147 calories; whereas, dark turkey meat provides the same amount of protein but 206 calories and a whopping 10 g of fat! And that’s only if you stick to one helping!

7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps - Switch ups that taste as good as the original

4. Swap Bread Stuffing For Rice Stuffing

Bread just adds unnecessary calories and carbs we don’t need. Instead of bread stuffing made with butter and white bread, try making a rice stuffing using wild rice, sticky rice or quinoa. Sauté mushrooms, onion, celery and garlic with coconut oil or olive oil. Then, add dried fruit and nuts, like pecans or walnuts.

7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps - Switch ups that taste as good as the original

5. Swap Cranberry Sauce For Cranberry Relish

Since cranberries are sour and bitter, they are sweetened with a whole lot of sugar or corn syrup, if you buy it from the can. Instead of eating cranberry sauce, try making your own cranberry relish using natural sugar alternatives like Stevia or naturally sweet fruit juices like orange or pineapple, along with zest from fresh orange and lemon. A two-tablespoon serving of cranberry relish made with Stevia and an orange will provide just 28 calories per serving and only 7 g of carbs; a store bought cranberry sauce will deliver 86 calories and 22 g of pure sugar!

7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps - Switch ups that taste as good as the original

6. Swap Alcohol For Soda Spritzers

Not only does alcohol provide empty calories, it can make us feel hungry causing us to eat even more! Alcohol is also considered a toxin in the body and causes the body to stop all other metabolic processes until it is completely removed from the body. If you still want to indulge with some holiday cheer, reduce the amount of alcohol you are consuming by watering it down with club soda or a clear diet pop. A full glass of wine can provide about 120 calories; however, if you cut that glass in half with soda water, you will save yourself 60 calories!

7 Healthy Holiday Food Swaps - Switch ups that taste as good as the original

7. Swap The Christmas Cookies For Fruit With Dark Chocolate Fondue

Sure, its once a year when these tasty treats come around, but just a few Christmas cookies will skyrocket blood sugar and push your daily calorie consumption over the edge. Instead of cookies, pies, squares or whatever else is put in front of you, try making a dark chocolate fondue. Use a dark chocolate with a minimum cacao content of 70%, add Stevia to sweeten instead of extra sugar and a bit of coconut milk to thicken, and then serve it with fresh cut fruit!

Lauren Jacobsen

Lauren is the creator of Sexy, Strong and Fit Online Coaching Services specializing in transforming women to fitness model condition. Lauren has over 15 years of experience as a trainer, supplement consultant and nutrition expert. She is also the TV show host of “Body Fuel,” a competitive athlete and regular contributor to various fitness publications.

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