Healthy Holiday Swaps To Limit Your Sugar Consumption

Photo: Leah Vanderveldt

We all know we should be cutting back on sugar. Too much sugar can contribute to inflammation, insulin resistance, and general hangry symptoms.

The holidays are filled with cheer in the form of sugary treats and drinks, and we don't think you should have to give up any of your favorite flavors of the season. We've found that you can enjoy them in healthier forms (and still keep your sugar consumption in check) with a few little tweaks:

1. Turn indulgent creamy drinks into protein- and probiotic-packed smoothies.

Make your own eggnog-inspired smoothie with vanilla kefir or Swedish-style filmjolk, almond butter, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Kefir or filmjolk brings protein and tons of probiotics to the table (or smoothie cup) and the spices will create that holiday vibe.

2. Bake a crisp or crumble.

Make your own fruit crumble with almond flour, oats, coconut oil, maple syrup or honey (instead of refined sugars). The fruit base (we love apples, pears, berries, or a mix) lends a lot of natural sweetness and flavor, and you can control how much maple or honey you include.

Photo: Leah Vanderveldt

3. Ditch the mayo and sour cream.

Creamy sauces, dips, and salad dressings? Swap sour cream or mayo for plain yogurt or skyr (we're fans of siggi's dairy, which is low in sugar and made with simple ingredients). When blended with a little olive oil, garlic, and salt, no one will know the difference—in fact, it usually makes salad dressing taste better and fresher than the mayo version.

4. DIY PSL.

Craving that pumpkin-spiced latte? Make your own with real pumpkin, maple syrup, and almond milk instead of weird flavorings and sugars.

Photo: Leah Vanderveldt

5. Pumpkin pie everything.

Still craving pumpkin pie spice in all its various forms? Grab a siggi's Pumpkin & Spice–flavored yogurt for a low-sugar, high-protein option to get you through an afternoon slump. Top with toasted pecans or pepitas for a satisfying crunch, healthy fats, and another dose of protein.

6. Sneak in a few vegetables.

Swap in nutrient-rich veggies for half the amount of starches, like cauliflower or celeriac in mashed potatoes. Try using butternut squash in cheesy pasta bakes or pureed pumpkin or sweet potato in cakes and breads. They add more flavor and goodness while preventing a big sugar spike.

7. Top your pie right.

Instead of ice cream or whipped cream to top your pie or cake, reach for a rich (but low-sugar) vanilla yogurt as a topping.

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