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A Heart-Healthy Holiday Menu Plan

A Heart-Healthy Holiday Menu Plan

Holiday meals can be difficult if you’re watching your waistline or are committed to a heart-healthy lifestyle. While you may think that one day of overindulging won’t really matter, it only takes a few tweaks to your menu to create a healthier meal for everyone at the table.

You can still enjoy some of your favorite holiday standbys in moderation, but by filling your plate with colorful fiber-rich veggies and reducing the amount of starchy and fat-laden side dishes, you’ll be able to enjoy the holiday in a healthier way.

Here are some ideas for making your holiday meal more heart-healthy:

Hors d’oeuvres:

  • Put out a colorful platter of raw veggies. Serve with a dip of plain Greek yogurt seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Add fresh herbs like dill or parsley.
  • Serve hummus with whole-wheat pita triangles or fresh veggies for dipping.
  • Skewer small balls of fresh part-skim mozzarella with cherry tomatoes and basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Side dishes:

  • Instead of mashed potatoes, whip up a bowl of mashed cauliflower, celery root bulb, low fat milk, chicken broth and garlic.
  • Use butternut squash or pumpkin along with or as a replacement for sweet potatoes. These gourds offer all the taste of the season but with fewer carbs and calories.
  • Instead of a calorie-rich string bean casserole, roast Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and onions in olive oil for a tasty seasonal side dish. Sprinkle with goat cheese.

Dessert:

  • Fill a bowl with mixed fresh berries. They’re not only low-calorie and loaded with fiber and antioxidants, but they look pretty on the table and can satisfy a sweet tooth.
  • Offer bite-size desserts to help control portions. This way you can still take a bite or two of your favorite holiday dessert without going overboard. Mini muffin tins are a great way to bake your favorite recipe in smaller portion sizes.

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