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Naughty and Nice Holiday Foods

Avoid holiday weight gain, and still enjoy the feast.

Don't Let Holiday Foods Get the Best of You

Curb calories from so-called naughty foods by taking tiny portions. The first few bites of any food provide the most pleasure. Once you've finished your treat, fight the urge for more.

  • Sit far from buffet tables, candy dishes, and cookie-laden platters.
  • Excuse yourself from the dinner table when done eating.
  • Keep your mouth busy by talking with friends and family.
  • Chew gum or suck on a sugarless breath mint to prevent picking.
  • If you're able, brush your teeth; the taste of toothpaste dulls taste buds.


Making Holiday Foods Healthier

Food preparation techniques that reduce calories, fat, and sodium go a long way to keeping you healthy during the holidays. Lighten up your favorite holiday foods and create new recipes with these 15 tips:

  1. Mash white potatoes with low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth instead of milk, butter, and salt.
  2. Roast vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, green beans, squash, and carrots to bring out their natural flavor.
  3. Prepare favorite dips with fat-free sour cream or yogurt.
  4. Mash cooked sweet potatoes with orange juice instead of butter.
  5. Skip one of the crusts on fruit pies; prepare a fruit crisp instead of pie.
  6. Use a gravy separator to skim the fat when making gravy.
  7. Make a low-fat cheese sauce for casseroles.
  8. Substitute heart-healthy canola oil for butter and margarine.
  9. Consider lean pork tenderloin for holiday meals instead of fattier or saltier meats.
  10. Use part-skim or fat-free cheeses to make dishes such as cheesecake or lasagna.
  11. Prepare bread pudding with fat-free egg nog instead of full-fat milk for extra flavor; add raisins or dried fruit for more fiber.
  12. Prepare just one striking dessert and offer fruit, such as chocolate-dipped whole strawberries, instead of cookies and candy.
  13. For a festive appetizer, mix equal amounts of fat-free salsa and low-fat cottage cheese; serve with homemade whole-wheat pita chips or cut-up vegetables.
  14. Make a black bean dip flavored with lime juice and cilantro instead of salt.
  15. Let your guests nibble on homemade trail mix made with whole-grain cereal, dry roasted peanuts, and dried cranberries instead of fatty chips or other high-fat appetizers.
Reviewed on September 25, 2008

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