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3 Mediterranean-Inspired Ways To Make Your Holiday Meals Way Healthier

3 Mediterranean-Inspired Ways To Make Your Holiday Meals Way Healthier

This article originally appeared in MindBodyGreen.

For many people, holiday traditions involve food: a particular dish (or two) that's always on the table and a festive family meal. This year, we know traditional gatherings will be limited, but we're still diving into our recipe books to recreate the dishes that feel like home.

To make those recipes a little more nutritious this year, we looked toward one of the most approachable healthy diet guidelines, the Mediterranean diet, for some inspiration and simple swaps:

1. Opt for a healthier oil.

The Mediterranean diet generally calls for extra-virgin olive oil as a top choice, but we're all for finding the best healthy oil based on your cooking needs. (For a refresher on the oils you might want to avoid, according to an M.D., check out this list.)When we spoke to chef and nutritionist Serena Poon, C.N., CHC, CHN, she gave us a complete guide to swapping out processed vegetable oils in cooking. For example, go for avocado oil if you're cooking food at higher temperatures and olive oil for lower-temp projects.If you need a swap for baking, consider opting for mashed fruit (like bananas). "Including fruit in your ingredient list can infuse your treats with fiber and phytonutrients," says Poon—an added bonus.

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