Food For Thought

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Getting Into Full Holiday Mode

For many people, holidays and family get togethers are a time for celebration. These celebrations often involve foods that are high in fat, sugar and calories and short on nutrition. With a few minor changes, however, special occasion foods can be both delicious and nutritious. Also understanding and using the rules of food safety during holiday events will make for a happier healthier holiday season.

Fortunately, most vegetables contain little or no fat. It is what is added to the vegetables that increase their fat content. Avoid smothering your vegetables with thick creamy sauces or butter. Feel free to include two or three vegetables with your meal.

Potatoes, for example, contain no fat and are good sources of Vitamins B and C and potassium skins are a good source of fiber. Try leaving the skins on the potatoes when you mash them and rather than adding butter or sour cream, try whipping the potatoes with skim or 1% milk or low fat sour cream or yogurt.

Dark green vegetables, such as broccoli and bright orange vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are high in the antioxidant, vitamins A, C, and E, folic acid and fiber. When choosing vegetables, pick the ones that are the darkest in color to ensure maximum nutrition. Antioxidants can be protective agents against heart disease and cancer. Folic acid may play a role in helping to reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Dessert

Dinner may be very filling, but what is a holiday feast without dessert? Here are some healthier suggestions:

Angel food cake contains little or no fat and can make a great dessert when served with fruits such as strawberries, raspberries or a fresh fruit salad.