Cooking from — and for — the heart this holiday season

Make some simple swaps to lighten up traditional fare. But feel free to enjoy small servings of favorite treats, too.

Published: December, 2020

'Tis the season to be jolly — and to indulge in favorite holiday foods and beverages. The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve are often full of opportunities to feast on foods high in fat and sugar. The average American packs on an extra pound of weight every year, and at least half of that is gained over the holiday season, according to several studies.

To help curtail that trend, which will help your heart as well as your waistline, try some of the alternative or lighter versions of foods and drinks traditionally served during the December holidays, described below. But there's no need to deprive yourself of special favorites that you have just once a year. "You can weave them in with healthier options," says Liz Moore, a dietitian at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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