Holidays do not have to be a nutrition disaster.
Invited to a family gathering? Here are some simple suggestions for making your traditional dinner healthier.
Traditional Menu Calories Fat (grams) VS. Healthy Alternatives Calories Fat (grams)
Fresh raw vegetable (1/2 cup) 50 0 No change 50 0
Vegetable Dip (2 tbsp) 60 0 Made with non-fat sour cream 20 0
Dark Turkey (5 oz.) 262 10 White Turkey (3 oz.) 129 3
Gravy (1/2 cup) 58 4 Gravy (Use only 1/4 cup) 29 2
Stuffing (1 cup) 340 18 Only 1/2 cup serving 170 9
Cranberry Sauce (1/4 cup) 90 0 No change 90 0
Mashed Potatoes (1/2 cup) 130 6 Prepared with non-fat sour cream 82 0
prepared with butter & whole milk
Vegetable casserole (3/4 cup) 135 8 Steamed vegetables (1/2 cup) 25 0
Dinner roll with butter 100 6 Don’t add butter 60 2
Sweet Potatoes (1/2 cup) 164 3 Mashed with syrup, no butter 106 0
Candied with brown sugar and butter
Pumpkin Pie with whipped cream 350 20 1/2 piece with no whipped cream 160 8
Traditional Total 1739 79 Healthier Total 921 24
Traditional meal is 41% fat. Healthier meal is 28% fat.
Plan to eat less for breakfast and lunch and less on the days before and after, if you expect to eat this large a meal. But don’t starve yourself the day of the meal.You save 818 calories and 55 grams of fat by making these small changes! WOW!
- There are so many good foods! Take smaller portions (1/2 cup or less).
- Alternatively, you don’t have to eat everything that is served. Focus on your favorite holiday foods and skip the foods you regularly eat (like dinner rolls).
- Use a smaller plate.
- Fill up on foods that contain the fewest calories first.
- Take a walk after dinner. Invite your family and friends to walk with you.
Build A Better Recipe:
Add Flavor Without the Fat
Because fat can add a lot of calories, reducing the amount of hidden fat or added fat in your foods can help to reduce calories. Look for high-fat ingredients in your recipes and use low-fat ingredients instead:
|Regular ground beef or pork sausage||Ground turkey breast (lean only no skin)|
|Regular cheese||Fat-free or low-fat cheese (less than 2 grams of fat per ounce)|
|Sour cream||Low-fat or nonfat sour cream or plain, nonfat yogurt|
|Margarine, oil, or butter*||Low-fat or fat-free margarine, vegetable oil spray|
|Chocolate||Cocoa powder plus a small amount of low-fat margarine (see instructions on cocoa label)|
|Pork or bacon fat for seasoning||Small amount of trimmed pork loin chop, extra lean trimmed ham, or turkey ham|
|Cream soup||Low-fat cream soups or flavored white sauce made without fat|
|Evaporated milk||Evaporated skim milk|
|Whole eggs||2 egg whites, egg substitute|
|Regular mayonnaise or salad dressing||Non-fat or low-fat mayonnaise or salad dressing, plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt|
|Whole milk or heavy cream||Skim, 1%, or evaporated skim milk|
- In recipes for cakes, cookies, muffins, and quick breads, try cutting the amount of margarine/butter by 1/3 or ½ and replace with the same amount of unsweetened applesauce, pureed prunes, or skim milk.
- Experiment with different herbs, spices, seasoning mixtures, flavored vinegars, mustards, and low-fat sauces.
- Make even healthier menu changes. Serve a colorful fresh fruit salad instead of pie or rice instead of stuffing (try mixing wild and white rice for a special touch)
- Don’t add the cheese topping to a casserole.
- Make spaghetti sauce without the meat.
- Spray frying pan with vegetable spray and use a fraction of the oil to brown meat or onions.
- Trim fat from meat; take the skin off of chicken and choose white meat.
- After cooking, drain and rinse browned ground beef.
- Refrigerate a soup or stew until the fat becomes solid and skim the fat from the top.
- Buy lean cuts (round, loin, leg)
- Bake, roast, broil, barbeque, grill instead of fry.
- Blot fat with a paper towel.
- Try salsa, nonfat sour cream, or low-fat yogurt for a topping on a potato.