Simple tips for improving nutrition during the holiday season.

As many of us have experienced, any attempt at healthy eating flies out the window during the holiday season. We tend to forget about our health and take the opportunity to over-indulge. While enjoying the holiday season is certainly important, it is possible to keep a healthy diet. Registered dietitians from the Nutrition Department at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, Oklahoma, prepared a few tips to help your holiday meals be healthy and simply delicious.

1. Use natural sweeteners.

Substitute sugar with stevia, honey, molasses, Sugar in the Raw, fructose or maple syrup.

2. Increase fiber.

Leave the skin on fruit and vegetables.

Add flaxseed, hemp hearts and wheat germ to your main meals. Increase vegetable content of meals, side dishes and stuffing.

Use fresh or frozen fruits and/or vegetables in place of canned produce. Reduce/eliminate refined carbohydrates.

Substitute at least half of the grains with whole grains.
Experiment with quinoa, spelt and barley.

3. Reduce fat.

Minimize the butter in stuffing by moistening with chicken broth.

Use nonfat vanilla yogurt as an alternative to whipped cream. Use lean cuts of meat in place of fatty meats.

Substitute saturated fats with unsaturated fats.
Remove visible fat.

Replace butter with applesauce when baking.

4. Increase protein. Add protein powder.

Add nuts to baked goods.

Weave these healthy eating strategies into your nutrition plan for the holidays, and you’ll find yourself feeling great at the start of the new year! Share your tips in the comments section below – we would love to hear how our readers stay healthy during the holidays and throughout the year.