Healthy Holiday Swaps

Make your holidays a little healthier with these simple food swaps

(RxWiki News) As the holidays approach, our diets start to get a lot less healthy. But with a few simple food swaps, you can add a little nutrition back into your holiday meals.

Consider the following healthy food swaps as you plan your holiday meals.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Not Sweet Potato Casserole

Whether you top it with marshmallows or just let butter and brown sugar do the heavy lifting for flavor, sweet potato casserole is a holiday meal classic. It's also packed with sugar and fat.

But the central ingredient — sweet potato — is a healthy food. So, instead of whipping up sweet potato casserole this holiday season, keep it simple with roasted sweet potatoes.

You still get the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes, and you can even spice them up with some cinnamon or a drizzle of maple syrup. But you save big on calories, fat and sugar.

Whole-Wheat Flour, Not Bleached Flour

For many families, the holidays are a time for baked goods. Cookies, pies, breads and more grace many holiday tables.

Nobody wants to give all that baked goodness up for the holidays, but to make this healthy swap, you don't have to. All you have to do is use a different kind of flour.

Instead of bleached all-purpose flour, try whole-wheat flour. The whole-wheat variety of flour has more protein, fiber and naturally occurring B vitamins.

Baked Apples, Not Apple Pie

Save yourself some time, effort and sugar intake by serving baked apples instead of apple pie for the holidays. Baked apples still come with all the apple and cinnamon flavor you crave, but they leave out a ton of the sugar, carbs, fat and calories.

Grain-Free Noodles, Not Traditional Macaroni

Who doesn't love mac and cheese — especially as part of a holiday spread? You don't have to give up this holiday staple to make your holidays healthier. You can simply change up one of the ingredients: the noodles.

Instead of traditional macaroni noodles, try out a grain-free variety. There are tons of options here, such as lentil and chickpea noodles. These kinds of noodles typically contain more protein, fewer carbohydrates and more vitamins.

Mashed Cauliflower, Not Mashed Potatoes

Most people feel that something is missing if they don't have mashed potatoes around the holidays. And while this dish is certainly delicious, it's not the most nutritious option.

However, you can make it much more nutritious without even changing the flavor. How? By substituting cauliflower for roughly half of the potatoes you would normally use.

The flavor difference is minimal, but the cauliflower adds vitamin C and the B vitamin folate to the equation.

Talk to your health care provider before making any major changes to your diet.