14Holidays are the season for mindless snacking and over-indulging in high-calorie, high-fat goodies. Seems like everywhere you go someone is offering up irresistibly delicious treats that are guaranteed to bust your diet and expand your waistline. Choose healthy holiday foods, and you won’t have anything to regret when the New Year arrives. If it’s your turn to play hostess, you can offer your guests snack platters that not only taste great but hold down calories. Here are some strategies that will help you cut the calories when it comes to your holiday snack platter.
Dips are a part of every super-star snack platter, but some are better than others when it comes to a healthy option. You don’t have to steer clear of all those delicious dips. Many dips are high in fat. Just avoid the cream-based dips and spare your waistline. Beetroot, hummus and avocado dips tend to be better options for both nutrition and calorie-counting. We all know how easy it is to overeat when it comes to dips. Limit the amount you’ll eat by spooning out a set portion, then move away from the tub.
Save your waistline by ditching the heavy crackers that can load on as much fat as potato chips and reach instead for the wafer-thin varieties. Seven Bremner Wafers, for example, deliver just 15 grams of carbs and 60 calories. You’ll save the calories for your favorite cheese or dip.
Another recommendation is the Grissini long, thin, Italian-style breadsticks. A favorite snack in Europe, this offers a crunchy alternative to potato chips> you’ll love it with dips and lean meats.
Who doesn’t love cheese? Layer it on your wafer-thin cracker with tomato or cucumber, and you’ll have an unbeatable treat. Just stick with lower fat cheeses such as ricotta or goats cheese, which will do your heart good. Goat’s cheese is just 18 percent fat compared to cheddar or creamy cheese such as Camembert and brie. Creamy cheeses are higher in saturated fat and sodium content, and that’s not the best for heart health.
We’ve all heard the warnings about the possibility that processed meats cause cancer. Try to limit or skip processed meats like ham and salami entirely when you build your holiday platter. as there is evidence that suggests they may increase your chance of cancer. A healthier choice for a festive platter would be a protein such as smoked salmon, shrimp, oysters and even smoked oysters. These items are relatively low in calories, high in protein and rich sources of iodine and zinc. Salmon will provide a boost of healthy omega-3 fats.
Heap on the fresh veggies, and you’ll lighten the load of your platter. Serve up carrots and celery. Add on cherry tomatoes for their delicious flavor and color, and include some olives for healthy fats. Veggies provide that crunch we crave, and they also work well with dips and cheese.
Save some of that popcorn you’re stringing around your tree, and savor a treat that contains just eight grams of carbs per two cups. It’s a much better choice than corn chips and potato chips. Just make sure yours is air popped and leave off the butter.
Read More: A Dietician Reveals Her Holiday Plan