The holidays can be a tough time to stick to healthy eating goals. But if your traditions involve baking, a few simple ingredient changes can help you cut some of the sugar, fat, and calories – without sacrificing the taste. This year, make some new baking traditions by adapting your family recipes with these tips from Chesprocott Health District:
•Substitute whole-wheat flour for up to half of the white flour called for in the recipe.
•Make muffins using oatmeal, bran, or whole-wheat flour.
•Reduce the fat by ¼ (if a recipe calls for 1 cup of oil, use ¾ cup). You can also reduce the sugar by ¼.
•If making sweet breads, such as banana bread or zucchini bread, cut the oil in half and replace with an equal amount of applesauce, mashed banana, or even canned pumpkin.
•If a recipe calls for nuts, use half the amount and toast the nuts (whole, not chopped). This intensifies the flavor and saves on calories.
•Replace half the eggs with egg whites, using two egg whites per egg. If a recipe calls for two eggs, use one whole egg and two egg whites.
•Grease the pan with non-stick spray instead of butter.
•Substitute evaporated skim milk for whole milk or cream.
Also, don’t forget to move. Make sure to do at least 10 minutes of activity at a time — shorter bursts of activity will not have the same health benefits.
For example, walking the dog for 10 minutes before and after work or adding a 10 minute walk at lunchtime can add to your weekly goal. Mix it up. Swim, take a yoga class, garden or lift weights. To be ready anytime, keep some comfortable clothes and a pair of walking or running shoes in the car and at the office.