Put your nutcracker to use this holiday season

Snacking is as much a holiday tradition as turkey, tree lights, parties and shopping.

Those heaping plates of treats rarely provide healthy options, but few people complain, at least not until the New Year, when they realize they gained a few extra pounds.

Actually, though, a healthy holiday alternative might have been there all along, just ignored because of the more enticing sugary treats surrounding it. Many snack trays include healthy nuts of various kinds (after all, this is the season of the nutcracker), but data shows that the typical American is more apt to reach for cookies, candy and chips. And it’s not just a seasonal thing: six out of 10 Americans don’t eat any nuts on a given day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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