* Most Americans gain weight around the Christmas-New Year holiday
* Swap your favorite sweets for these healthy snacks to save your waistline
* Many of these snacks are ideal for people with special dietary needs
According to a Cornell University study, Americans gain an average of 1.3 pounds in the ten days surrounding Christmas and New Year. That might not seem significant, but in the majority of study participants that weight gain stuck around for five months.
This year, instead of becoming just another statistic, swap out your favorite holiday sweets for these healthier versions. Many of the options have no sugar, are dairy free and could be considered vegan-friendly. In addition, all of these 8 healthy snacks are better for your waistline than most things you’ll eat this holiday season.
1. Cocomels Sea Salt Coconut Milk Caramels
Whether you love eating caramels during the holidays or they’re your go to gift for coworkers and friends, you won’t be able to tell the difference between these Cocomels and the traditional, high calorie candies. Cocomels are made using coconut milk and contain no high fructose corn syrup, dairy or gluten. Thanks to the healthier recipe, these treats contain 30% less sugar than other candy, but they will definitely keep your sweet tooth satisfied.
2. Skinny Crisps Chocolate Mint Crisps
Skinny Crisps has just released a new chocolate mint flavor for the holidays. The best part? Each serving has just 80 calories. Skinny crisps are made using non-GMO ingredients and are free from wheat, eggs, dairy and rice, making them gluten-free and low carb. They make a great substitute for the annual Christmas cookie binge, and could be enjoyed along with a glass of milk or a scoop of peanut butter. This is one high fiber snack that you won’t regret eating at this year’s holiday party.
3. Unreal Crispy Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Most people love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and we can’t fault the delicious combination. But, Reese’s are terrible for your waistline. This holiday season, swap out the traditional peanut butter chocolates for these Unreal Dark Chocolate Quinoa Peanut Butter Cups. They are vegan certified and contain only 5g of sugar per cup. Plus, they are made with Fair Trade Certified ingredients. Each bag contains 8 individually wrapped cups.
4. ChocZero Keto Bark
The Christmas season is filled with all sorts of barks – from peppermint to peanut. Take a break from these sugary treats but still get your fill of the crunchy candy with ChocZero Keto Bark. This stone-ground dark chocolate is filled with roasted almonds to mimic the irresistible taste of almond bark. In addition, ChocZero uses only monk fruit to sweeten their goods, so there’s absolutely no sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners in these bark bars.
5. Avenue Sweets Vegan Caramel Candy
Vegan and dairy free, Avenue Sweets Vegan Caramel Candy is ideal for people with special dietary needs. These vanilla-flavored caramels were made with coconut milk instead of cream and coconut oil instead of butter, making them healthier, tasty treats. Each box contains about 20 individually wrapped caramels and would make a great gift for neighbors or friends.
6. Life Can Be Sweet Without Sugar Golden Cake Mix
People with special dietary needs can’t just reach for any old cake mix on the supermarket shelves. Until now, the process of making a sugar-free, gluten-free cake was almost too much hassle. That’s why Life Can Be Sweet Without Sugar invented their very own (healthy) cake mix. It’s made using organic coconut, almond flour and almond butter. All you have to do is mix in water, place in the provided cups to bake and then top with the included dark chocolate ganache – no milk, butter or egg needed.
7. Vergani Vegan Holiday Cake
It’s a European tradition to have cake at Christmas. From Christmas pudding in England to panettone in Italy, these cakes are mega bad for you but so delicious. As a twist on the traditional, Vergani has invented a vegan-version of panettone that’s made without eggs or butter. This richly flavorsome cake can be served with fresh berries or preserves and pairs well with coffee or wine.
8. Oh! Nuts Holiday Gift Basket
Instead of giving boxes of chocolates or cookies as gifts this year, consider the Oh! Nuts Holiday Gift Basket. This set includes 12 varieties of dried fruits and nuts in an artful arrangement, and these vegan treats are bursting with flavor. Kiwi tidbits, papaya bites and royal dates are just a few of the highlights. These irresistible snacks really do make a great health-conscious gift.