Healthy Holiday Tips


Posted on December 21, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 21 at 10:51 AM

Terrebonne General Medical Center

The average adult gains 5-7 pounds during the holiday season.

Use healthier substitutions recipe to avoid packing on those extra pounds.

Simple recipe modifications can help cut down on calories and fat without jeopardizing the taste.

Offer to bring a favorite low calorie, low fat dish to holiday parties so you know there will be at least one healthy item available.

  • Cut the sweetness: When making recipes like pumpkin pie or eggnog, reduce the amount of sugar by half and enhance "sweetness" by adding a bit more vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon. If recipes call for sugary toppings like frosting, jams and syrup, use fresh fruit instead.
  • Shake the salt out
    • You can reduce salt by half in most recipes too. Also beware of salty condiments, such as pickles, catsup, mustard and soy sauce—use their lower sodium counterparts or offer cucumber slices and fresh tomato or fruit salsas.
    • In recipes, try substituting fresh herbs and flavored vinegars for salt.
  • Trim the fat
    • In baked goods, you can cut the fat by about half and replace oil with unsweetened applesauce, prune puree or mashed banana. Instead of full-fat condensed milk, use condensed skim in pumpkin pie and eggnog. In fact, skim milk is always a good substitute for any cream or whole milk ingredient.
    • For gravy, refrigerate the gravy to harden fat. Skim the fat off the top. This will save a whopping 56g of fat per cup.
  • Try a skinless turkey: Removing the skin decreases the amount of fat and cholesterol.
  • Use these easy substitutions in your favorite recipes to decrease fat:
    • Sub 1 egg for 2 egg whites.
    • Fat-free options for items like sour cream or cream of mushroom.
    • Top casseroles with almonds instead of fried onions or candied pecans or marshmallows.
    • If you have diabetes, try to substitute artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, for your baked goods.



Ingredients Substitution Calories Saved Fat Saved
1/2 cup oil (for baking) 1/2 cup applesauce or 1/4 cup applesauce + 1/4 cup buttermilk 925 or 922 109 g or 108 g
1 cup heavy cream 1 cup evaporated skim milk 744 79 g
1 cup sugar 1/2 cup Splenda sugar blend or 1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar blend 384 N/A