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Healthy Living

Healthy Holiday Recipe Substitutions

Mercy Health | Nov 22 2017

These healthy holiday ingredient swaps make it easy to cut fat and calories without sacrificing the taste.

Pumpkin pie, Christmas cookies and pound cake — one of the best parts of the holidays is enjoying special foods with friends and family. However, that tradition can leave many of us feeling sluggish for days to come. Use these healthy holiday ideas to cut the fat and keep the flavor in your favorite holiday dishes.

Excess butter, oil, sugar, white flour, and even nuts can cause us to gain unwanted pounds. Furthermore, this contributes to risk for diabetes, high cholesterol and other health problems. By minimizing these ingredients and substituting them with healthier ones, you can take control of your health and your waistline. We checked in with one of Mercy Health’s registered dieticians, Jackie Dahlberg, for tips on how to make our favorite holiday recipes a little bit healthier.

Use these healthy holiday ideas to enhance your favorite dishes:

  • Sub half the amount of butter called for with applesauce
  • Use pumpkin puree or baby food prunes in place of oil in chocolate-flavored recipes, such as cake
  • Swap up to half of the white flour for whole wheat flour instead
  • Reduce sugar by one-third

Making healthier choices doesn’t have to come with a big sacrifice. With these healthy swaps, you can still enjoy your favorite holiday recipes, without being derailed from healthy living. And because it’s so easy, we encouraging you all to try it!

This  season, here’s your challenge. Try at least one of the four swaps above in a favorite holiday recipe. How did you feel after the swap? Did your friends and family notice a difference in taste or flavor? Let us know in the comments! And from the Mercy Health family to yours — we wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

If you’re looking for more healthy recipes, check out our recipes for baked fish or kale chips.

Mercy Health

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When you want to use oil which is the healthiest, vegetable,corn or canola?
November 24th, 2017 | 11:38pm

Mercy Health

Hi Carol, because canola oil is lower in saturated fats and it contains omega nutrients, it provides benefits to your heart that vegetable oil does not. We recommend canola with this one - thanks for your question!
November 28th, 2017 | 4:09pm


Use almond flour instead of wheat flour too
December 23rd, 2017 | 8:35am

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