The holidays — for some, it’s a time of pure joy, for others, it’s a time to be joyful and worried about their waistline. With so many goodies cooking during this time of year it’s understandable why weight gain would be a concern. But, there is a solution. You can still indulge in all of your traditional delectable’s and with these clever replacements and make them healthier and better for your waistline. Here are three healthy substitutions for your holiday festivities:
1. Coconut oil
Did you know coconut oil is so versatile it can replace butter even when sautéing? And with so many buttery dishes this substitute can be a life-saver this time of year. Not only can it replace butter, it can also be used in place of shortening. When used correctly, it will only compliment your dish, not overpower it.
More on the benefits: did you know that populations who consume coconut on a regular basis are among the healthiest people on the planet? And there’s good reason. It can improve your blood cholesterol levels which can lower the risk of heart disease. Not only that, it boosts brain function, helps to shed fat and suppresses hunger.
2. Flaxseed meal
Flaxseed meal can easily replace eggs in baked goods. All it takes is one tablespoon of flaxseed meal mixed with two and a half tablespoons of water, and voila! Not only is this a great substitute for eggs, it’s packed with fiber and essential fatty acids – who couldn’t use more of that?
More on the benefits: the benefits of flax seeds have been touted since ancient times. One of its major benefits is its fiber content. It contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber isn’t as easily absorbed which means it will not spike your blood sugar when consumed. It also attaches to cholesterol and gets it out of the body, lowering the risk of heart disease. On the other hand, insoluble fiber fights off hunger. It also helps keep you regular by moving matter from your colon.
3. Cocoa nibs
These tasty little morsels do well in substituting chocolate chips in any sweet dish you have planned for this holiday season. Cacao nibs are better for your health than dark chocolate, are unsweetened, unprocessed and pack a healthy chocolate punch. Not only that, they contain protein, copious amounts of magnesium and antioxidants.
More on the benefits: cocoa nibs contain less calories than milk or dark chocolate and are also sugar free and contain 11 grams of fiber per ounce. This natural chocolate also contains caffeine which can give you a natural boost when feeling sluggish.
These are all great substitutes for your holiday dishes. Why not add more vitamins and nutrients to your dishes in a delicious, healthy way? What are your favorite healthy holiday substitutions?
Gunnars, K (2013, July) 10 Proven Health Benefits of Coconut Oil Retrieved from http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-coconut-oil/
Gardner, S (2015, July 23) Soluble and Insoluble Fiber: What’s the Difference? Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/diet/insoluble-soluble-fiber
K, Nina (2015, April 15) Health Benefits of Raw Cacao Nibs. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/522112-health-benefits-of-raw-cacao-nibs/