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Healthy Aging | 11/27/19
Holidays are the time to share a table with family and friends and indulge in delicious meals together. But what if there were alternatives to some of the highly processed foods that tend to make it to our plates? At Monroe Village, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common holiday dishes and offer a healthy alternative that still tastes great.
Sweet Potato Casserole: The traditional sweet potato casserole starts as a veggie dish, but soon nears dessert territory by adding butter, sugar and marshmallows. Eating too much added sugar can have negative side effects. Instead, try roasted sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes themselves aren’t the unhealthy aspect in sweet potato casserole – sweet potatoes are high in fiber, which has been shown to promote a healthy digestive system. By roasting sweet potatoes with a little bit of maple syrup and traditional fall spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg, you’re able to create a healthy alternative.
Green Bean Casserole: Although there is some redemption in including green beans in this dish, the butter, cream of mushroom soup and crunchy fried onions add overindulgent amounts of fat, calories and salt. Instead, try brussels sprouts. Roasted or sautéed brussels sprouts can add a nice contrast of color, texture and balance to your dish. Not only are they high in vitamins and minerals, but the added health benefits include the potential to reduce the risk of cancer, decrease inflammation and improve blood sugar control.
Canned Cranberry Sauce: Canned cranberry sauce is filled with added sugar. A 1/4-cup serving of canned cranberry sauce has 24 grams of sugar, most of which is corn syrup. Instead, try fresh cranberry sauce. Cranberries themselves are a healthy food – this super food is low in calories and high in vitamins C, A and K. Plus, the berries contain phytochemical anthocyanin, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. And, by making the sauce yourself, you’re able to avoid that extra sugar intake by adding juice or natural sweeteners like apple cider or dates.
Traditional Stuffing: Stuffing is notoriously known for being high in sodium, which can lead to high blood pressure and a burden on the heart. Plus, white bread does little in terms of nutrition. Instead, try making a seasonal stuffing. Adding nutrient-rich foods like roasted mushrooms, nuts and dried fruit adds color and texture to the stuffing while adding a healthy twist. Mushrooms alone promote a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy and overall lower weight.
Pecan Pie: Pecan pie is traditionally made with a generous amount of sugar and corn syrup. And with a typical slice coming in around 500 calories, this pie is a highly concentrated source of sugar and calories. Instead, try pumpkin pie. Since pumpkin has a natural sweetness, there isn’t as much added sugar added to this dessert. Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg can even make the pie seem sweeter without additional calories. Plus, pumpkin is relatively low in calories, packed with vitamins and minerals and may boost your immunity.
The dining team at Monroe Village makes sure each dish presented is nutritionally beneficial by using the freshest ingredients. Our rotating menu also features seasonal inspiration and delicious flavors. We’d love for you to join us for a meal – contact us today to schedule your personal tour.