The festive season is a wonderful time of the year. It's a period that's all about family and gratitude, but the delicious food is also high up the list too.
Over the years, the holiday period has also become associated with over-indulgence. While a large meal here and there isn't an issue, it's important that you avoid days of over-indulgence in a row.
That doesn't mean to say that you have to forego any delicious treats. In this piece, we'll take a look at healthy eating during the holiday season and also provide you with three low-sugar Christmas treats to try this year.
Why Christmas Doesn't Have To Be About Indulgence
We all know that it's a wonderful thing to enjoy a meal with the people that we love. The holiday season gives us the perfect opportunity to break bread with our loved ones and we should certainly capitalize on that opportunity.
Unfortunately, Christmas has become associated with over-indulgence over the years. Many people excuse bad eating habits around this time of the years, but you shouldn't push things too far and affect your health.
Lots of people decide to make resolutions for the New Year, too, but they often find that they're starting off on the wrong foot. If you try to enjoy healthy foods over the Christmas period, you'll give yourself the best start to a great new year.
There are lots of great cooking techniques and recipes that you can use to make sure your family is satisfied with delicious food without having to over-indulge on unhealthy snacks.
How To Cook Healthier At Christmas
Ready to make this the healthiest Christmas yet while still enjoying lots of delicious food? Here are some of the top healthy Christmas cooking tips.
Make the right decisions when shopping
We all know what it's like to shop during the holiday period. Products leap off the shelves and it's easy to get drawn in by the attractive advertising and the temptation to over-indulge.
You should try to shop with a strategy. Try to limit the number of fast foods that you purchase, for instance, and try to look for only the leanest cuts of meat.
It can be difficult to roll your shopping cart past your favorite snacks but exercising caution while shopping can help you to eliminate temptation over the holiday period.
We're going to look at some of the best low-sugar Christmas treats later in this article, too, which can help you to enjoy tasty treats while staying healthy.
Use healthy fats
While you're rustling up your delectable Christmas dishes, you should try to add healthy fats. You can do this by limiting the number of processed foods that you consume and cutting out full-fat dairy products.
If you're going to add fats and oils while cooking, you should try to use monounsaturated oils. That means healthy oils like olive and canola oil.
Those healthy oils are rich in monounsaturated fats that can have an impressive impact on your overall health. They can also help you to avoid putting on the pounds over the holiday period.
Limit your use of salt
If you're going to try and enhance the flavor of your many dishes this Christmas period, you might be tempted to use a lot of salt. When you're cooking so many diverse dishes, though, it's important that you try to limit the amount of salt that you use.
Here are just a few tips that you can follow to reduce your salt consumption this holiday period:
- Use fresh or frozen vegetables that don't come with salt
- Add a small splash of olive oil to cooked vegetables to enhance their flavors
- Taste your food while cooking to determine whether or not it actually needs salt
- Cut out processed foods like chips and dehydrated soup mixed
- Try to find "no added salt" varieties of margarine and butter.
Incorporate some fish
When people picture the traditional Christmas meal, they'll undoubtedly think of a large turkey with all the trimmings. Why not try something different around the holiday period, though?
Fish is very delicious and it's incredibly healthy. You'll find that fish is low in fats but rich in essential fatty acids. Fish also provides a large dose of protein, too, which can help you to feel fuller and encourage you to eat less.
Some people decide to limit the size of their turkey and instead use fish over the holiday period - you might just be surprised at how delicious it can be.
3 Low-Sugar Alternatives To Try
Do you just love those comforting Christmas treats? Here's a look at three low-sugar Christmas treats that you can cook to enjoy Christmas and meet your healthy eating goals at the same time.
Apple and Peanut Butter Sandwiches
This is a delicious Christmas treat that's very simple to make. Simply slice an apple and place peanut butter in between two of those slices - you now have a delicious and festive Christmas sandwich!
This snack gives you a great opportunity to incorporate fruit into your diet. Peanut butter is a classic festive flavor, too, and the impressive amount of protein helps you to feel fuller.
As an added bonus, you could use baking cutters to put festive shapes into your apple. Small stars or Santas will make these healthy snacks a hit with the kids at Christmas.
Chocolate Protein Balls
Chocolate protein balls are rich and satisfying food that can satisfy your sweet tooth at this time of the years. You can also create them without having to use added sugar, too, and the protein can make this a filling snack.
There are lots of great chocolate protein ball recipes out there that include healthy ingredients like vegan chocolate, dates, raisins, and more.
Cinnamon Apple Chips
The taste and smell of cinnamon are synonymous with the Christmas period. This simple snack gives you all the goodness of cinnamon accompanied by a healthy fruit.
With just two ingredients, this snack is very simple to make and you'll have them ready in around a couple of hours. Simply slice your apple and sprinkle with cinnamon before baking for one hour on each side at a temperature of 200°F.
This snack will fill your home with the aroma of cinnamon, too, letting everybody know that it's well and truly Christmas time.
We hope that you enjoy these healthy eating tips for the Christmas period - have a very happy and healthy Christmas!