Tips For Healthier Holiday Dining
If you are attending a meal cooked by someone else, it is perfectly okay to ask questions about how things were prepared before you eat them. A general rule of thumb is that the more natural something is, the healthier it is. Try loading your plate with vegetables and fruits and choosing smaller portions of things like stuffing and candied yams, for example, and remember that the white meat of the turkey has far less fat than the dark meat. You can still enjoy some dark meat, stuffing, yams, and mashed potatoes, just smaller portions of them.
If you are the one doing the cooking, it makes it even easier to eat right. If you usually make green bean casserole, you can always choose low sodium ingredients, making it healthier for everyone at the table. Make your stuffing with whole grain bread and fresh vegetables instead of buying pre-packaged (and often much higher sodium) stuffing mixes. If you use an air sprayer to mist your turkey with olive oil instead of slathering it in butter, you can eliminate a huge source of fat. Making your pumpkin pies and other treats with Splenda or Stevia saves calories and won't cause blood sugar spikes, making dessert items safer for diabetics, hypoglycemics, or anyone watching their weight. Cook up a batch of fresh yams and mash them with a little butter for a more natural and healthful alternative to marshmallow laden candied yams. Serving up a large salad full of apple slices, chopped nuts, cranberries, and other seasonal favorites is another healthy alternative that is sure to please!
Be sure to keep yourself well-hydrated. Not only does water give you that feeling of being full but it also makes you less susceptible to mistaking thirst for hunger. If there is a snack table set up before the meal, munching on things like fresh broccoli, carrots, celery, and cauliflower - even if you dip them in ranch dressing - is definitely preferable to cookies or cheese and crackers. If you aren't the one hosting the feast, contributing your own healthy tray of snacks is thoughtful and helps to ensure that you have something safe you can enjoy eating.
There is no doubt that the holidays are famous for diet-challenging foods, but with a little planning and care, you can navigate your way with enjoyment! Happy Holidays!
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