Consumers adjust holiday meals with healthy alternatives

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COLUMBIA — Nov. 1 marks the start of the holiday season and many mid-Missourians will soon find themselves tempted with all sorts of delicious, yet unhealthy options.

But not everyone is indulging.

Various sources, including Euromonitor, report consumers are becoming more health-conscious in the kitchen and the grocery aisle. It estimates global sales of healthy foods products are estimated to reach $1 trillion by 2017.

However, the holiday season is notorious for the consumption of foods with more saturated fats than usual, like marbled meats, egg yolks, butter and whole milk.  

"It is true that saturated fat is the food component that contributes most to our bad cholesterol," Jennifer Bean, a registered dietitian, said. 

Bean said she believes eating foods with saturated fats is necessary, just in moderation. 

"Saturated fats do have a part in a healthy diet, they just don't have a big part," Bean said. 

Bean puts the importance of tasting and savoring foods above mindlessly eating them. She suggests on Thanksgiving Day, instead of remaining sedentary and watching football after eating a big meal, to get up and walk around during halftime. 

Lisa Adams, a mother of two, is in support of substituting healthy ingredients for some traditional favorites. 

"I know stuffing goes with Thanksgiving but pick something else like a quinoa rice," Adams said. 

Adams suggested other holiday alternatives, like substituting squash for sweet potatoes.