Unlike Santa Claus, (spoiler alert!), holiday weight gain is real, according to a Cornell University study. The University’s research indicates that it can take up to five months to lose the “holiday pounds” many of us put on from October through December each year. Brian Wansink, PhD, co-author of the study, suggests that instead of a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, people make an October resolution to limit weight gain in the first place.1 Yet, extra calories and weight gain are not the only concerns when it comes to holiday fare. Often, our favorite holiday recipes are loaded with extra sugar, fat and carbohydrates that can be problematic for those suffering from heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions.
While cutting back on your favorite foods and traditions can put a real damper on the holidays, there is a way to have your fruitcake and eat it too. The following websites and cookbooks feature healthier versions of holiday favorites from appetizers and entrees to baked goods and desserts that cater to a wide variety of dietary needs.
- Eating Well offers hundreds of holiday recipes, from Skillet Green Bean Casserole to Corned Beef Latkes, Pumpkin-Pecan Pie, Flourless Honey-Almond Cake and Gluten-Free Gingerbread Men, to name a few.
- Visit Food Network to indulge your taste buds with Low-fat Eggnog, Avocado-Feta Dip or Mushroom-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin and Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts.
- Whether you’re looking for gluten-free, paleo or vegetarian, The Academy of Culinary Nutrition is your ticket with recipes such as Cauliflower Millet Mash, Paleo Sweet Potato Cranberry Stuffing, and more.
- And finally, Cooking Light has just what it takes to cap off a day of holiday shopping: Cherry and Pistachio Rugelach paired with a warm mug of Barcelona Hot Chocolate—all without breaking the calorie bank.
If cookbooks are more your style, the following are available from Amazon in print and/or Kindle editions:
- The South Beach Diet Parties and Holidays Cookbook: Healthy Recipes for Entertaining Family and Friends
- Healthy Hanukkah Cookbook: Savory Jewish Holiday Recipes
- Keto for the Holidays: 40 Healthy Low Carb High Fat Macros Based Recipes
- The Almost No-Fat Holiday Cookbook: Festive Vegetarian Recipes
- Danielle Walker's Against All Grain Celebrations: A Year of Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Paleo Recipes for Every Occasion
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