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How to make holiday foods healthier

Feb 19th 2014 at 11:16 PM

As the holidays approach, food, wine and tempting indulgences are all around us. Instead of throwing all of your health and weight-loss plans by the curb – and gaining an unwanted five pounds – you can make your holiday celebration healthy by choosing delicious alternatives to some of your old favorites.

3 healthy alternatives
Instead of: Mashed white potatoes (mixed with cream, butter and/our full-fat sour cream)
Try: Mashed sweet potatoes
Packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene, folic acid and potassium, sweet potatoes are a great holiday

side dish and are as nutritious as they are delicious. In fact, a medium-size sweet potato contains just 160 calories and offers three grams of fibre. Have fun toppings such as low-fat sour cream, sautéed mushrooms and onions, or some capers.

Instead of: White rice
Try: Quinoa
Quinoa is technically a seed and has gained enormous popularity due to its high protein levels (it’s a complete protein, containing all eight essential amino acids) and because it’s gluten-free. Cooked quinoa is excellent in hot casseroles, soups, stews and stir-fries, or cold in salads. (Check out Dr. Joey's quinoa recipe on the next page).

Instead of: Traditional protein sources
Try: Alternative proteins
Incorporate some alternative protein options into your holiday feast such as edamame (shelled soy beans) or shirataki noodles. Shiratki noodles are low carbohydrate, translucent Japanese noodles that are also gluten-free. They are mostly comprised of a dietary fibre called glucomannan and contain very few calories. Although they do not have much flavor on their own, they absorb other ingredients (such as tomatoes or soy sauce) well. Tossed with a variety of vegetables, they are a good option for a holiday side dish.

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