Holidays Foods Don’t Have to Ruin Your Diet
Much of the fare at your next holiday party is going to be high in calories, fat, sugar and sodium, but you can also find some foods that are good for you. It’s okay to indulge in a few decadent foods, but they shouldn’t fill your plate. Here’s a look at some foods you might find at the holiday table that are delicious, good for your waistline and full of good nutrition.
Turkey is a good source of lean protein, zinc, iron, potassium and B vitamins. Keep it healthy by leaving it alone. Don’t drown it in gravy and leave the skin on the serving platter.
Green beans contain fiber and vitamins. They’re delicious all on their own — think of green beans almondine or simple steamed green beans rather than the ubiquitous high-calorie, high-sodium green bean casserole.
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A and related antioxidants, plus they’re a great source of fiber. Keep them lower in calories by choosing baked or simple mashed sweet potatoes, rather than the over-indulgent sweet potato pie.
Walnuts, almonds, and pecans are full of minerals, protein and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Sprinkle a few chopped nuts on a salad or side dish, or nibble on a few as an appetizer. Avoid the pecan pie, which is full of sugar and fat.
Cranberries are tasty, but tart. They’re an excellent source of vitamins and fiber. They’re a good addition to vegetable side dishes. Cranberry juice makes a nice beverage when you combine it with something sweeter like grape or apple juice.
Fruits for Dessert
Sliced fruit goes nicely with a bit of cheese and crackers for starters. Fresh fruit also makes for a nice dessert, or you can go a little more upscale and enjoy poached pears or raisin-stuffed apples.
Your body needs to stay hydrated, especially if you dine on a bit too much salty ham or enjoy too many adult beverages. Drink water throughout the party and when you get home.
Whole Grain Bread
Whole grain bread is a better source of fiber than anything made with refined white flour. Choose 100-percent whole grain bread and dinner rolls whenever possible for the most fiber.
Kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower are all low in calories, extremely nutritious, and they taste superb. Fill your plate with any of these veggies if you have the chance.
Berries (and Yogurt)
Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are sweet and nutritious. Parfaits made with yogurt and berries with a sprinkling of chopped nuts make for healthful and delicious dessert.
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