Ways to Make Heavy Holiday Dishes Better for Your Health

Weight gain is a problem that many people face during the holidays, and it is a particularly significant risk for those who have big holiday dinners in their schedule this season. In order to reduce the damage done by these indulgent meals (and the leftovers that follow), you can give some of your favorite holiday dishes a healthy makeover this year. Here are some tips to cut calories and add more nutritional value to your holiday dishes.

Decorated Christmas table

Use low-fat dairy products

When you are preparing sauces, mashed potatoes, and casseroles, you can easily find wholesome substitutes for the high-fat ingredients common to these dishes. Browse the dairy aisle for low- and non-fat products like cheese, milk, and yogurt so that you get the calcium and vitamin D you need from these recipe components without the added fat.

Pass on the salt

High-sodium meals are not friendly to heart health , and they can cause you to retain water and feel bloated. Instead of relying on salt to flavor your meals, go for fresh and dried herbs, spices, and citric acid to add more life to your dishes. These flavoring agents will please your palate without overloading your meals with sodium.

Add more vegetables

You can sneak vegetables into all kinds of holiday favorites, and this will add nutritious bulk to foods so that you are less likely to overeat. Try making a root vegetable mash instead of using just potatoes, adding more vegetables to your stuffing starter, and serving a light salad to take up more room on your plate. Another helpful way to manage portion control is with smaller plates and smaller serving spoons. When you are able to put fewer items on your plate, you will have more time to recognize that you are full before you get up for second servings.

For more holiday health tips to improve your health this season, contact Regional Medical Center of San Jose by calling (408) 259-4000 or visiting our website. With health classes and events taking place throughout the year, we can help you stay in-tune with your health for life.

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