Swapping holiday sweet treats

The holidays can be a tough time for folks who are watching their waistlines with the abundance of sweet treats that seem to crop up everywhere.

Posted: Dec. 20, 2017 4:45 PM
Updated: Dec. 21, 2017 10:34 AM

The holidays can be a tough time for folks who are watching their waistlines with the abundance of sweet treats that seem to crop up everywhere.

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But according to Lindsay Malone, RD, of Cleveland Clinic, it's possible to satisfy a holiday sweet tooth without over doing it.

She said we can start by re-thinking our go-to breakfast treats.

"Instead of starting the day with things like danishes, sweet breads, muffins, you can bake some steel cut oats with apples and cinnamon. Your house will smell wonderful and you're going to be getting more nutrients for that breakfast," said Malone.

Malone suggests making substitutions when baking, which can help cut down on the calories without sacrificing the flavor.

For example, she recommends using olive oil when baking or cooking instead of whole cream. Another strategy includes cutting the sugar in a recipe in half, and then substituting it with cinnamon and nutmeg.

And it's important to keep in mind that walking past the cookie tray won't help much if we end up drinking our calories instead.

Malone said it's easy to forget that many holiday drinks, whether it's a dessert-like holiday coffee drink or a classic cup of eggnog, can pack quite the caloric punch.

"Eggnog is high in fat, high in sugar; most people aren't even considering the calories they're consuming, because it's a beverage," said Malone. "When in reality, a cup of eggnog can have as many calories as an entire meal."

Malone said it's possible to still enjoy festive drinks without blowing the day's calorie count, but it's best to stick to lower fat milk or almond milk and maybe skip the whipped cream and chocolate toppings.

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