The Kentucky Derby, also known as “The Fastest Two Minutes In Sports,” “The Greatest Two Minutes In Sports,” “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports,” and “an excuse to get absolutely blitzed on bourbon while wearing a fanciful hat,” takes place on today. Post time is 6:25 p.m., but most people kick off the festivities much, much earlier.

And what festivities there are to be had! The Derby is a time to enjoy classic Southern food and drink, but it can be tough for people who are trying to keep their sugar, alcohol or carb consumption in check. We’ve compiled 10 smart swaps to keep you happy and healthy on Derby Day.

  1. Instead of simple syrup use agave to make your mint juleps lower in sugar.
  2. Instead of a mint julep, sip on a glass of mint iced tea.
  3. Instead of baked brie, set out a selection of cheese straws.
  4. Instead of pimento cheese and crackers, arrange crudités around a bowl of creamy garlic-herb dip.
  5. Instead of shrimp dip, serve pickled shrimp.
  6. Instead of buttermilk biscuits and country ham, offer guests yogurt biscuits with smoked turkey.
  7. Instead of Kentucky Hot Browns, whip up a tray of Baby Hot Browns.
  8. Instead of fried green tomatoes, pull together a beautiful heirloom tomato salad.
  9. Instead of bourbon balls, put out bowls of candied pecans.
  10. Instead of Derby Pie, serve mini berry pies.

If you are planning to indulge on Derby Day just a little, allow us to recommend these treats: Mint Julep Cupcakes with Bourbon Simple Syrup. Enjoy!

[Image via Garden & Gun]