Secrets to making holiday meals healthy

Published December 20, 2012

| The Daily Meal

Love your family recipes over the holiday but can’t stand the heartburn? Our bodies take the hardest hit from all the holiday feasting, whether it’s from the butter-braised turkey you just finished enjoying over Thanksgiving or the cookies high in sugar you’ve started giving out around Christmas time.

But the holidays don’t always have to be about indulgent eating, and if you follow a few basic tips while cooking and eating this holiday season, you can avoid all the negative effects of your holiday meals. To help you cook and eat a bit healthier, Mom Dishes It Out’s Laura Cipullo, registered dietician, shares seven simple secrets that’ll inject a bit of health into your holiday meals.

From simple reminders like why you shouldn’t fry a turkey to easy tips like how to decrease the amount of sugar while baking, Cipullo’s seven secrets will show you how to make your traditional holiday dishes healthy and your body happy.

Banish Butter and Bring on Broth
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.

Do Without the Deep-Fryer
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.

Choose Cinnamon
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.

Slim the Sugar
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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