As the winter months approach and all of the festive holidays begin to occur, our diets can take a turn for the worse. Overindulging in carbs and sweets is certainly not a new tradition during November, December, and January. However, gaining excess weight and skipping workouts for even just a few weeks can have a negative impact on your overall health. It’s tough to find the proper balance between comfort food and a proper diet. Luckily, the tips below can help you!
Processed sugar is bad for you. Really bad for you. It’s refined from sugar cane and added to almost everything you eat. It’s devoid of all nutrients and raises your blood sugar levels quickly, so one minute you’re feeling energized and the next you’re in need of a nap. It’s best to reduce the amount of processed sugar you consume each day.
That means you need to find a healthier alternative to all the sugar you’ll be adding to your pies, cakes, and cookies this holiday. You can supplement some of the sweetness by using a more natural ingredient such as vanilla extract, cinnamon, or nutmeg. Whatever you think would work best for the recipe! Even a touch of honey or molasses could do the trick.
Cut the Fat
It’s tough to reduce the amount of butter or shortening in a recipe, because that sweet and salty taste is such a staple for most delicious baked foods. You might be thinking there’s no way it’ll still taste delicious by cutting out half of the fat needed in the recipe. However, healthy alternatives like vegetable oil, applesauce, or making a sweet potato puree as a substitute yields very positive results. You’re not reducing the flavor, you’re just adding some extra flare to it.
Another area where you can reduce the amount of fat in cooking is the milk you choose. By opting for skim milk instead of whole milk, you’ll be doing yourself and everyone else who’s eating your treats a service!
Lower Your Sodium
Fresh ingredients are tastier than prepackaged condiments. Instead of using tons and tons of ketchup, trying slicing up fresh tomatoes and making a salsa. Pickles taste great, but they’re very high in sodium content. A cucumber will provide that perfect crunch you’re looking for in a sandwich without half of your daily intake of salt.
When cooking, leave the salt in the cupboard. Instead, reach for the fresh herbs and spices to include in your cooking. It’ll leave it tasting fresher, while reducing the strain on your heart. Delicious and healthy don’t have to be mutually exclusive. You can have both! And that’s exactly what you should strive for this holiday season.