Healthy Holiday Swaps for a Nutritious Festive Feast!

Healthy Holiday Swaps for a Nutritious Festive Feast!

Ah, the holidays—that time of year when the scent of browned butter and caramelized sugar in the air threatens to undo all of the nutritious choices we’ve made for months. Whether you’re getting ready to undergo a procedure, are recovering from surgery and sticking to a nutritious diet, or simply want to stay on the (semi-) healthy train, the holidays (and all of the tasty dishes that ensue) can seriously test your willpower. Today, then, we’ve decided to help you on your quest for holiday wellness by rounding up 15 healthy holiday swaps to make those favorite dishes of yours far more nutritious (without totally straying from their original taste). Read on for simple switches with serious benefits. 

Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes

for fewer calories, fewer carbs, more vitamin B, and far more vitamin A

Keep the skin on your potatoes

for added fiber, B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and potassium

Sautee a fresh onion with panko bread crumbs instead of using canned fried onions on your green bean casserole

for fewer calories and much less sodium (2 tablespoons of the classic canned fried onions contain 60mg of sodium)

Add toasted macadamia nuts or toasted pecans to your stuffing

for healthy fat, protein, fiber, iron, vitamin B6, iron, and manganese. Plus, the addition of nuts will help keep you full longer

Make a healthy crumble topping with rolled oats, whole wheat flour, and cinnamon in place of a traditional pie crust

for fewer calories, added soluble fiber, and tons of antioxidants.

Sauté using coconut oil, avocado oil, or extra virgin olive oil—instead of butter

for added essential fatty acid and no dietary cholesterol.

Use a pecan pie recipe that calls for raw honey instead of traditional corn syrup

for a lower concentration of fructose and added antioxidants

Work flaxseed into your salad dressing, spice mixes, rubs, or baking batter 

for healthy fats, antioxidants, and added fiber

Skip the marshmallows and opt for apples instead in your sweet potato dish

for antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber—not to mention no processed sugar

Swap out coconut sugar for refined white sugar in your baking recipes

For a lower glycemic index and a little added iron, zinc, calcium and potassium

Switch out white rolls for whole grain rolls

for added fiber, vitamins B6 and E, magnesium, zinc, folic acid, and chromium

Skip the can and make your own cranberry sauce

for fewer calories and no high-fructose corn syrup.

Make whipped coconut cream instead of traditional whipped cream

for lower fat, lower carbs, zero dairy, and a little added protein.

Replace the traditional semi-sweet chocolate chips in your baking recipes with dark chocolate chips

for less sugar and added antioxidants

Use roasted chickpeas in place of croutons to get that classic “crunch” in your salad

for fewer calories and added fiber, protein, folate. 

(Psst…notice we didn’t mess with your turkey? Consider that our holiday gift to you!). After you enjoy these healthy holiday swaps, browse the rest of the Mend Well blog for empowering pre-op information, helpful nutrition advice, and pro-medical tips!