Comfort food without the guilt

Simple swaps like whole grains instead of white rice maintain flavor while boosting health benefits.

There's nothing quite like coming in from the cold and sitting down to a hot, hearty meal. The icy temperatures seem to make us yearn for foods that will warm us up inside, stick to our bones, and soothe the soul. "We are warm-bodied creatures, and as the weather cools we actually crave more calories so we can stay warm," explains Sandra Allonen, a registered dietitian with Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.

But digging into comfort foods all winter — like a savory beef stew, spicy spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese, fluffy pancakes, gooey pizza, or buttery mashed potatoes — comes with health risks.

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