7 Secrets to Making Holiday Meals Healthy

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Banish Butter and Bring on Broth
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Banish Butter and Bring on Broth
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Avoid drowning your healthy vegetables in saturated fat like butter. It may taste good, but high-fat meals trigger heartburn, so quickly sauté your vegetables in low-sodium, low-fat vegetable or chicken broth for the same kind of flavor without the effects.

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Do Without the Deep-Fryer
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Do Without the Deep-Fryer
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Why fry your turkey? It’s like frying an Oreo. A deep-fried turkey contains double the fat of a regular roasted turkey, so get back to basics and do as our ancestors did. Roast the bird and use garlic, thyme, rosemary, and other herbs to flavor the feast rather than a vat of grease.

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Choose Cinnamon
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Choose Cinnamon
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Because cinnamon is a great way to lower your blood sugar, try serving side dishes or desserts with a teaspoon or two of cinnamon to bring down your count. 

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Thinkstock/iStockphoto

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Slim the Sugar
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Slim the Sugar
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An easy way to make your holiday desserts healthier is to decrease sugar quantities by 25 to 50 percent. If a family favorite calls for 2 cups of sugar, decrease it to 1 cup of sugar and add fresh fruits like berries to make up the difference. You’ll be adding a healthier, all-natural version of sugar, and the berries will also give you antioxidants. 

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Creatas Images

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Go Wild or Whole
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Go Wild or Whole
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If you’re serving rice on your holiday table, modify the recipes by exchanging white or even brown rice with wild rice. The same idea goes for starches that require white flour. Instead of white, go for whole-wheat, which is a wholesome version full of fiber and micronutrients. 

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Thinkstock/iStockphoto

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Know Your Skins
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Know Your Skins
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A great way to add some extra fiber and vitamins to your meal is to include potato skins in casseroles or any dish you’re looking to add a bit of crunch or texture to. Along those lines, try to pass on any poultry skin, which is saturated fat and contributes to the after-dinner burn.

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Decrease or Divide
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Decrease or Divide
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Holidays need not be excessive with food quantity, so the easiest way to eat healthy is to cut back on your servings. Thank your bodies by decreasing recipe quantities or dividing the recipe to make less, and try to be frugal when filling your plate. The only stuffing on a holiday should be the bird’s.

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