dFriendly Sides: Healthy Holiday Eating

Too many starchy side dishes can easily foil the family feast. Follow these tips and tricks for traditional holiday eating without the excess carbs and calories.

By Marlene Koch, author of Eat What You Love: More than 300 Incredible Recipes Low in Sugar, Fat and Calories

 alt=A typical holiday dinner can deliver 2,000 to 4,000 calories, depending on what (and how much) fills up your holiday plate. Typical side dishes like mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and Yorkshire puddings — plus those gingerbread men or celebratory glass of champagne — can make your holiday feast as excessive in carbohydrates as it is in calories. Healthy holiday eating can be a challenge. The good news is that with a little bit of planning, a few healthy holiday eating and cooking tricks, and some great recipes, you can transform your holiday sides from meal plan killers into meal plan makers.

Plan Ahead

Comfort Food

  • Budget your carbs. Review your meal plan and determine ahead of time which starchy or sugar-laden items you will budget for in your healthy holiday eating plan. Once they are on your plate, you'll be able to pile the empty space with non-starchy sides or lean turkey to keep temptation at bay.


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Last Modified Date: February 25, 2014

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by Brenda Bell
Years before I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, The Other Half came out of a doctor's appointment with a diagnosis of "borderline diabetes" and an ADA exchange diet sheet. His health insurance agency followed up on the diagnosis with a glucometer and test strips. After a year or so of trying to follow the diet plan and test his glucose levels, things appeared to be back in "normal" range, and stood there until a couple of years after my own diagnosis. Shortly...
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