Bratwurst is a favorite at ballparks, barbecues and traditional German festivities. The key to enjoying this sausage is to limit your intake and understand what it contains. On the plus side, brats are rich in choline, which helps build cells in the brain and heart [source: McPhail]. And while it is fatty, it contains far less fat than an equal amount of eggs. Plus, the fats contained in bratwurst are not of the trans-fat variety [source: McPhail]. Rationalization? Perhaps, but if you don't go back for seconds, thirds and fourths, you'll be fine.
German potato salad and sauerkraut are perfect compliments to bratwurst and other main dishes. Low-fat mayonnaise, celery, onions and red potatoes won't harm your heart (or your hips). You can even add bacon to the potato salad mix -- just substitute turkey bacon for the fatty stuff [source: Laa Loosh]. Not all sauerkrauts are created equal, either. Trade the processed, store-bought kind for homemade. Slice straight-from-the-garden cabbage into a sauerkraut crock, add water, light salt and slow cook [source: Weil]. You'll soon have a low calorie, sour delight.
Seafood fans will also be glad to know that fish is a German favorite -- blue trout, in particular. This dish gets its color from simmering in vinegar. White wine, carrots, leeks and onion give it a variety of flavors and textures to please the palate [source: German Originality]. Complete the holiday meal by adding a little sweet to counteract the sour, in the form of apple strudel. So how can you possibly enjoy strudel without overindulging on sugar? A batch using only 2 tablespoons (29.6 milliliters) of sugar will be every bit as decadent-tasting with apple juice, apples, walnuts and a touch of cinnamon [source: Shape].
German holiday traditions can be kept and fully enjoyed while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Just remember what to look for, make recipe adjustments where necessary and eat in moderation.
- German Originality. "Blue Trout." (Sept. 30, 2012) http://germanoriginality.com/madein/recipes/berlin.php?id=23
- The Local. "Germany's holiday food favourites." Dec. 23, 2010. (Sept. 30, 2012) http://www.thelocal.de/society/20101223-16219.html
- McPhail, Christopher. "Is bratwurst healthy for you?" (Sept. 30, 2012) http://food-nutrition.knoji.com/is-bratwurst-healthy-for-you/
- Shape. "Apple Strudel With Walnuts." (Sept. 30, 2012) http://www.shape.com/breakfast/healthy-dessert-apple-strudel-walnuts
- Sukrin. "Healthy Marzipan." (Sept. 30, 2012) http://sukrin.org/recipes/healthy-marzipan/
- Weil, Andrew, M.D. "Dr. Weil's Homemade Sauerkraut." (Sept. 30, 2012) http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02021/Dr-Weil-Savoring-Sauerkraut.html
- Ziztman, Wendy. "Healthy German Potato Salad." Laa Loosh. (Sept. 30, 2012) http://www.laaloosh.com/2009/02/12/weight-watchers-german-potato-salad-recipe/