8 Tricks for Lightening Up Holiday Foods

by in Healthy Holidays, Healthy Tips, December 13, 2012

eggnog
We heart holiday food, but holiday food doesn’t always show love our waistlines. Use these simple tricks to lighten up your favorites.

#1: Baked Ham
Ham is a lean meat but when recipes call for one pound per serving the calories skyrocket to 760 and the fat climbs to 44 grams! Also, when you’re talking smoked or cured foods, the sodium can get out of control.

To lighten: Stick to 3 to 4 ounce portions and lessen the amount of salt added to flavor the ham or use lower-sodium versions.

Other tips to lighten up baked ham

#2: Jelly Doughnuts
The fried food frenzy can get out of control during the holidays. One jelly-filled doughnut weighs in at around 300 calories and 14 grams of fat—and it’s tough to stop at only one.

To lighten: Opt for 2 or 3 minis and then step away from the dessert table!

#3: Egg Nog
If you like heavy cream in this holiday fave, at 50 calories per tablespoon (yes, tablespoon!) the calories can add up in a flash.  Mix in extra booze and you’ve got an extra 150 or so calories per 1 ½ fluid ounces.

To lighten: Swap low or nonfat milk for heavy cream or whole milk. Measure out the alcohol at about 1 ½ fluid ounces MAX per serving or just make it a virgin cocktail.

Try Food Network Magazine’s Low-Fat Eggnog

#4: Holiday Cookies
Butter, sugar, and loads of ooey gooey ingredients can bust the calories on any holiday cookie.

To lighten: Go lighter on the toppings—use half the amount of nuts or other add-ins. You can also choose 60-70% dark chocolate to get more of those good-for-you antioxidants.

Get 9 healthy holiday cookie recipes

#5: Potato Pancakes
A.K.A. latkes, the grated and fried potato mixture is delightful topped with sour cream and applesauce. Depending on size, they can range from 100-200 calories each, not including the toppings.

To lighten: To lessen the calories, swap out some of the potatoes for carrots or parsnips. Keep the size small and stick with 1 tablespoon reduced-fat sour cream or homemade applesauce.

More tips to lighten latkes

#6: Heavy Casseroles
Dishes that are laden with cheese and butter are jacked up with calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium. Keep in mind: A recipe title with the word “au gratin” usually means it’s drenched in fat.

To lighten: Use small amounts of freshly-grated strongly-flavored cheese (like Parmesan or Gruyere) to add flavor—a little goes a long way.

Try Ellie Krieger’s Lighter Scalloped Potatoes

#7: Holiday Cocktails
Those fancy holiday concoctions can do a lot of damage to your waistline. Packed with alcohol, sugary mix-ins, and juice or soda they can topple over 450 calories each!

To lighten: It’s easy to keep calories in check by ordering simple. Sip on nice glass of wine (5 fluid ounces has about 100 calorie) or beer (12-fluid ounces has about 150 calories).

Find out why beer won our recent alcohol food fight

#8: Dips
Mayo, sour cream, and cheese can sabotage the calories in any dip. You’ll end up downing hundreds of calories before you get to your meal.

To lighten: Substitute reduced-fat Greek yogurt for mayo in most dips and stick with 2 tablespoon portions to keep calories under control.

Try Ellie Krieger’s Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip

TELL US: Which trick will you be using this holiday season?

More posts from .

Similar Posts

Yes, Turmeric Is the Spice of the Moment (Here’s Why)

— Long a mainstay of South Asian cooking, turmeric adds zing to curries and other dishes. But it has also been used in Eastern cultures for thousands of years for its medicinal properties. More recently, turmeric has caught the attention of Western researchers who have been studying the herb and its potential health benefits. “OneRead more

Comments (97)

  1. Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

  2. endless lead says:

    Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

  3. Garcinia says:

    Links…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]……

  4. You should check this out…

    [...] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well [...]……

  5. janelle mcdonald…

    Wika linked to this website…

  6. see details says:

    Victoria Appenzeller…

    It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people about this subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks…

  7. links says:

    Websites worth visiting…

    [...]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[...]……

  8. website url says:

    Awesome website…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]……

  9. more inside says:

    Related……

    [...]just beneath, are numerous totally not related sites to ours, however, they are surely worth going over[...]……

  10. You should check this out…

    [...] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well [...]……

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>