As the weather gets colder and the peaches and blueberries disappear from the produce section, it becomes difficult to make healthy food choices. Instead of promoting fresh salads and clothes that show off your figure, restaurants and retailers are promoting their cream or cheese-based comfort foods and slouchy, cozy sweaters.
These seasonal changes from light and springy to hearty and heavy can make eating healthy hard and eating unhealthy much more tempting, so it’s important to be conscious of what’s going into your body.
The following fall foods tend to have unhealthy reputations, but they can actually have lots of nutritional value if you choose the right options. Find out how to eat your favorite comfort foods to keep yourself healthy and fit:
When you coat pasta with nothing but cream-based sauces and shake on piles of cheese, it won’t be the healthiest option. Luckily, there are dozens of ways to make eating pasta a good nutritional choice. Whole grain pasta is a healthy high fiber option and adding grilled chicken, beef or shrimp adds protein that your body needs. Add vegetables, tomatoes and a low-fat sauce, and you’ve got yourself a filling, nutritious meal that you can feel good about eating.
From the emergence of pumpkin desserts in October to the variety of pies at Thanksgiving and Christmas, pie is one of those desserts that is much more popular when it’s cold outside. It is possible to indulge in this treat while still minding your waistline, though. Choose fruit or pumpkin pies instead of richer chocolate or cream ones, and top your slice with frozen yogurt rather than ice cream for fewer calories and fat. Greek frozen yogurt is an especially healthy option!
When most people cook up their roasts, stews and soups this fall and winter, the logical side dish is usually potatoes, which are full of starch and typically made with lots of butter and salt or topped off with fattening condiments like bacon bits and sour cream. To avoid these unnecessary calories and fat, choose lower-fat, high-nutrient sweet potatoes (without the brown sugar or a marshmallow topping!) or roast baking potatoes without high-fat additions.
This category is broader than the others, but tailgate spreads typically include some of the most tempting high-calorie dishes of fall. From bratwursts to creamy, cheesy dips served with fried tortilla chips, it’s dangerously easy to gorge yourself on high amounts of greasy foods when you’re watching the game. To avoid pushing your calorie intake through the roof, stick to high-protein chili, skip fried options like chicken wings, choose salsas or hummus over cream-based dips, and dip with veggies instead of chips or mozzarella sticks.
You don’t need to cut out the foods you love from your diet to stay healthy this fall and winter; just make sure you’re eating in moderation and picking nutritional options. Eat with you love in the healthiest way possible, and you’ll stay warm, full and fit throughout fall.
What is your favorite healthified fall food? Do you love the cool weather or warm weather better?
About the Author:
Meredith writes on behalf of Healthy Choice, whose products make it easy to make smart nutrition decisions all year long. To browse through healthy meal options like pasta bakes and steamed entrées, visit Healthy Choice.