HEALTHY LIVING

5 Christmas Cookies For Every Diet

12/18/2013 07:42 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

Is it just us, or does the Christmas eating season kick off just as early as the shopping one does?

It's one of the easiest times to lose sight of your health-minded eating plans, despite everyone's best intentions to avoid winter weight gain. Still, we think the season just wouldn't be the same without the occasional festive indulgence.

There aren't many redeeming qualities in your favorite Christmas cookies, however there are simple swaps and recipe tweaks that can make a sweat treat a better fit for your personal dietary style. Here, a few of our favorites to satisfy a whole host of special diets. Leave your favorite healthy-ish Christmas cookies in the comments below!

Paleo

iced gingerbread cookies

These caveman-friendly bites rely on coconut and almond flours instead of the refined stuff, and are loaded with flavor in the form of some of healthiest spices of the season, like ginger, cloves and cinnamon.

Nut Free

chocolate thumbprint cookies

Thumbprints are so often nut-butter-based, so people with allergies will love this cocoa version of the holiday classic. Plus, we're suckers for the very real health benefits of chocolate.

Gluten Free

peppermint bark

These impressive Peppermint Bark beauties from Gluten Free Canteen rely on brown and white rice flours and tapioca starch for a wheat-free treat.

Vegan

avocado cookie

The buttery texture of avocado -- yes, real avocado! -- means these Avocado Almond Cookies from I'll Make It Myself! don't require a heavily-processed dairy-free substitute. Just swap the egg for tofu or try making your own "flax egg", a concoction of flax meal and water that, when prepared with care, can simulate the consistency of eggs.

Low Sugar

brown sugar cookie

It's tough to find a sugar cookie one could actually deem nutritious. But some commercially-prepared varieties truly are worse than others, clocking in at 14 grams of sugar per cookie! Suddenly a recipe like this one from Health magazine, which only contains 5 grams of sugar, isn't looking so bad.

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Health Benefits Of Five Holiday Spices
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