Last night, Adrianna Lopez, the Healthy Eating Specialist, from the Whole Foods at 6550 East Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach gave a presentation on making healthy alternatives to holiday treats. What might have been viewed as difficult to make was shown to be easy and healthy.
Ms. Lopez made note that it was important to replace fats and sugars with healthy alternatives. Examples that were given were to replace white refined sugar with raw agave nectar, agave nectar, Stevia or Xylitol. These alternatives have a lower glycemic index than regular sugar. They are particularly healthy for those with diabetes or someone looking to lose weight, but could easily replace sugar for anyone looking for a healthier lifestyle.
What's the difference between raw agave nectar and agave nectar? What makes it "raw"? In terms of "raw" when spoken in the context of healthy eating, it means it was not heated past 118 degrees. There has been a movement toward raw eating in this country recently and I will discuss it in more detail in another blog.
Another alternative is to replace a fat like butter with coconut oil. Coconut oil is fatty but it's fat is medium-chained triglycerides. The heath benefits derived from coconut oil are said to include healthier hair and skin,l stress relief, cholesterol maintenance, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, health diseases, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Here is a quick guide for making healthy replacements:
- Replace butter, shortening, oil sour cream or milk with low-fat or fat-free yogurt.
- Replace white flour with whole-wheat flour
- Replace sugar with Stevia, agave nectar or xylitol.
- Replace whole eggs with egg whites.
- Replace milk chocolate with dark chocolate.
An embedded video will give you some more ideas for healthy alternatives for the holidays.