Nutritious and Delicious Healthy Swaps for the Holidays

Nutritious and Delicious Healthy Swaps for the Holidays

‘Tis the season of once-a-year delicacies like turkey, stuffing, and your aunt’s famous apple pie. We have put together some healthy swaps just in time for Christmas. When you are on a weight loss regimen, holidays can seem overwhelming–but fear not! There are simple swaps you can make right away to be sure you don’t blow your calorie count before the main course. If you are experiencing anxiety over the upcoming holidays, contact Dr. Leo at Today’s Integrative Health to put a plan in place that suits your lifestyle and will help you navigate the choices ahead.  

Our Healthy Swaps

1. Chocolate

When standing in the candy aisle, you might see a range of colorful wrappers and select one that looks pretty. More than likely, that option has milk, and a good amount of sugar in it. Instead of having milk chocolate incorporated into your desserts or special breakfast muffins, select dark chocolate. Choosing dark chocolate over milk chocolate has several healthy benefits. One of which is its antioxidant properties that protect and cleanse your cells from free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that collect in your body from radiation and environmental pollutants. Your body has natural systems in place to cleanse you of these, but a little help from chocolate goes a long way. Be sure you are examining the sugar content in any candy you consume, as even dark chocolate can have high amounts. 

2. Greek Yogurt 

Compared to sour cream, greek yogurt is superior by far. With 20 grams of protein, it can nutritionally sustain you for hours. It is low in fat, healthy and versatile. Adding it to smoothies or crafting a creamy sauce are just a couple of ways to create a healthier option. Greek yogurt is a perfect replacement for sour cream in any recipe. So if you are hoping for a dose of extra protein–this is a great pick! 

3. Cauliflower 

By nature, cauliflower is pretty bland. However, this is its superpower in disguise. Being bland means it takes on the flavor of your seasonings. Mashing this vegetable can replace traditional buttery potatoes with a fraction of the fat and calorie content. If a big spoonful of mashed cauliflower doesn’t get you going, try a mixture that is half potato and half cauliflower. 

4. Sugar

Dates are nature’s candy. When dried, this sweet fruit is likened to caramels. Use this as an alternative to processed sugar. It can be used in pie crusts, smoothies, or simply eaten plain if you need a sugar fix. High in fiber and low on the glycemic index–dates provide sustainable energy, and avoid mountains and valleys in your sugar readings. There are lots of other sugar swaps available such as agave syrup, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and honey. Choose one that suits your recipe and give it a whirl! 

5. Milk

Dairy products dominate our holiday menus. From heavy cream, to sauces, to dips, to egg nog–it’s in just about everything! A low-calorie option is using nut milk such as cashew or almond. These kinds of milk typically have fewer sugars and just as much calcium as a typical serving of dairy milk. You can try it in sweet and savory recipes for a healthy, flavorful option. Even swapping out your coffee creamer for healthy nut milk may provide you with more sustainable energy in the morning instead of a jolt of caffeine with a side of a sugar spike. 

Reach Out Today  

Our doctors are here to support you through this busy, healthy and joyful season. Connect with us to partner with you for your wellness goals. We are located at 6321 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD 20852, in the Executive office park. If you are curious about trying new methods to change how you look, feel and live–call today to schedule an appointment. We will help you thrive!

Picture of Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. Leo began his education at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he earned his doctorate in osteopathy. He completed his internal medicine residency through the U.S. Army and had the honor of serving multiple overseas tours before retirement.

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