Food | Swapping Foods for Healthy Holidays

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After all of those tins of sweets, luxurious mince pies and festive tipples, it is easy to put on an extra few pounds over the Christmas holidays. But you can help reduce your calorie intake by swapping your favourite foodstuffs for healthier alternatives.

Indulging is all part of the festive fun. It is after all the season to gorge into that box of sweets, creamy desserts and buckets of mulled wine.

For those that want to enjoy the festivities without having to deal with the hardship of fighting the extra pounds, food swapping is the easiest thing to do.

Thankfully, there are plenty of tasty and healthy alternatives available.

Crisps and dips are the ultimate snack over Christmas, with sour cream a popular favourite. However, an ounce of sour cream generally has 60 calories. Try substituting that for low-fat or nonfat plain greek yogurt, which measures between 15 and 35 calories per ounce.

Swap your crisps and nuts with popcorn for that salty craving.

Alcohol is the biggest culprit when it comes to calories. Cutting down on consumption, and adding low-calorie soft drinks to wine and spirits can help offset the negative effects.

Appetizers are always doing the rounds at Christmas parties. Instead of jumping in for the deep fried calamari or pork products, go for the jumbo shrimp and cocktail sauce.

Christmas fruitcake may be the ultimate treat but it can be be sinful on the waistline. Choose a decorative sugar cookie instead, or indeed opt for something more savoury.

Turkey and ham. What would Christmas be without it?  While ham is tasty, it can be high in sodium and calories. As such, load up your plate with extra turkey and a smaller portion of glazed ham.

Those miniature sweets may be too good to resist but they are not great on our hips. Instead, satisfy your sweet craving with a dark chocolate treat. Eating this variety is also beneficial for your heart thanks to its flavonoid ingredients.