Reviewed by Louise Chang on August 12, 2009


Kathleen Zelman, RD, MPH. WebMD Features, 'Naughty and Nice' Holiday Foods, Turkey Day: The Good, The Bad, The Downright Ugly, Antioxidant Superstars: Vegetables and Beans.

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Video Transcript

Kathleen Zelman, RD, MPH: Our recipe calls for butter...

Narrator: WebMD Dietitian Kathleen Zelman is helping an aspiring young chef create a healthier holiday menu.

Kathleen Zelman, RD, MPH: We can cut maybe a tablespoon or so...

Narrator: What's her key to a delicious holiday spread that's good for you? Choose foods that build your body's defenses.

Kathleen Zelman, RD, MPH: When you choose your vegetables for your holiday meal, look for the rich color like sweet potatoes. That deep orange color means they are full of Vitamin A. When you look for greens look for the dark greens, like spinach, green beans, broccoli. They all contain lots of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals that help prevent disease.

Narrator: Don't forget the berries. All berries contain phenols, antioxidants which help fight cancer, stroke and heart disease. Cranberries have the most. Take seconds! Carrots, squash and zucchini are loaded with Vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium. But what about those holiday standbys—casseroles?

Kathleen Zelman, RD, MPH: One way you can lower the fat and lower calories is to think about substituting or replacing certain ingredients. So, for example in this sweet potato sham where you have butter, sugar and cream you can use a lower fat cream or you can substitute a different ingredient.

Krysta: Will it taste different?

Kathleen Zelman, RD, MPH: It'll be just as good and no one will ever know the difference

Narrator: Let's get down to the meat of the matter—the naughty list. Choose turkey over ham, duck, goose or other fatty meats. Stay away from high fat cheeses and processed crackers as appetizers. What about those calorie laden pies and cakes? Kathleen has another tip for our young chef.

Kathleen Zelman, RD, MPH: Krysta I see that you're substituting applesauce for the oil in your cakemix recipe. It's a great way to lower the fat and calories and you know you can also substitute yogurt!

Narrator: Let's not forget the holiday cheer! While that favorite eggnog is on the naughty list, red wine is heart healthy. So feel free to indulge in a glass or two.

: Here's to family and friends and...

Narrator: From all of us at WebMD, have a healthy holiday season.