The holidays are the time of year that can be most challenging for those trying to decrease their body fat, are on a diabetic meal plan, or are watching what they eat for other health reasons, such as issues with their sodium or cholesterol. Whether you are preparing a dish for a holiday party, or preparing a holiday meal at home, here are some tips and tricks to help make your holidays healthier.
• Mashed potatoes are a staple in holiday meals; however, potatoes with the skin left on them are much more nutritious. Potato skins are a great source of fiber and potassium, and contain almost half the daily value of Vitamin C.
• Cranberry sauce is not only a great way to add some color to your plate, but it is also low in fat and calories! Cranberries and cranberry sauce also make a great substitute for gravy.
If you’re not sure whether to make turkey or ham, check out these differences…..
Do you have some favorite holiday recipes you want to prepare, but think they’re unhealthy? Many recipes can easily be made healthier by merely replacing one or more of the ingredients, without sacrificing the taste or appearance of the dish. Try out these ingredient substitutions, which can help reduce the amount of calories, fat, sodium, cholesterol, and sugar in your recipes.
Foodborne illness is something else that consumers should be concerned about. Follow these steps to help prevent foodborne illness and make your holidays safer:
• Turkeys should be thawed in its original wrapper (unopened) in the refrigerator, and cooked within three to four days of purchase. Do not thaw turkeys at room temperature.
• Stuffing should be cooked separately from turkey, never inside the turkey. When stuffing is cooked inside the turkey, the stuffing acts as insulation, which prevents heat from getting to the center of the turkey — as a result, the stuffing might not get cooked all the way through.
– Corinne Kantor, DTR, is a Registered Dietetic Technician and author of The Food Cop: Nutrition Guide and Workbook. For more nutrition tips and information about her book, visit her web site at www.thefoodcop.com