Thanksgiving meals can be a guilt free right? Well, maybe not entirely…but even so, there are certain ingredients or recipes that may be able to mitigate some of the guilt that comes along with this iconic holiday meal. Here are three alternative ingredients and techniques to make your holiday meal just a little more guilt-free.

Sugar

Sugar is known to pack on pure fat – especially sugars with a high glycemic index. Although sugar is not exactly a health food, it’s kind of necessary when it comes to holiday cooking!

Luckily for us, there are some natural alternatives that contain a lower glycemic index and are better options for those with diabetes. They’re also good for the rest of us who just want to avoid packing on too many pounds too fast!

  1. Honey – you might be getting more nutrients than you would otherwise, when you use honey as your substitute sweetener. It contains trace amounts of antioxidants and vitamin C, among other goodies. And although it’s high in fructose it’s often thought to still be a better choice than white sugar.
  2. Coconut Sugar – this caramel-tasting sugar is derived from the sap of coconuts. It also contains trace amounts of minerals such as calcium and magnesium and less fructose. Ensuring that your liver metabolizes this sweetener in a much healthier way.
  3. Maple Syrup – maple syrup is a widely used sugar alternative and for good reason – it contains nutrients such as iron and zinc. It’s also derived from a natural source, you guessed it, the maple tree. It’s one of the better natural sugars, right up there with honey. Just be sure to get pure maple syrup and not “maple flavored”.

*Tip: When replacing granulated sugar with another sweetener, be sure to use an online measurement converter to ensure you get the sweetness just right.

Wholegrain

There’s one simple switch that won’t comprise your delicious dinner rolls or other bread based goodies and that is whole grain flour. Whole grain flour contains more nutrients, are better for your digestion and are much more hearty. There are numerous whole grain flour alternatives to choose from, depending on what you’re cooking. So dive in and do youre research it will be worth it.

Simplify

Candied yams, a traditional Thanksgiving favorite smothered in gooey marshmallows… there couldn’t possibly be a substitute for that!? But there is. Candied yams, meet roasted sweet potatoes. It can be hard to give up, we know, but it can be done.

Roasted sweet potatoes contain two ingredients: sweet potatoes and olive oil (or oil of your choice). And believe it or not, when sweet potatoes are lightly brushed with oil and baked for 35-40 minutes on 400 degrees, magic happens. The slow roasting brings out the natural sweetness of the potato and they melt in your mouth. Just like their sugar-laden, but admittedly delicious counterparts, they are worth every bite – they just also happen to be better for your health. And, you can even sprinkle a little cinnamon on them for more sweetness.

Better Health is Something to Be Thankful For

Thanksgiving is a time to get together with friends and family and eat – hopefully not too much. But just because this holiday encourages feasting it doesn’t mean that your health should take a back seat. Along with substituting some ingredients to make your meal healthier, also think about exercise. Check out our Fitness Page to see how you can get fit with a Teeter Inversion Table.