By Jen Hartman, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Nothing says "Southern eats" like a Saturday morning breakfast of biscuits and gravy. It's a southern staple that many generations have grown up with and one that Nashville newcomers quickly come to enjoy!

Unfortunately, this comforting and heavy breakfast or brunch can quickly knock out your calorie intake for the whole day. Biscuits and gravy are high in calories and saturated fats and low in nutritional benefits.

So, how can we improve this scrumptious Southern dish? As a dietitian who believes that all foods can fit into a healthy diet, I want to give you a few suggestions to use when eating out and when staying in. Here are my tips for how to healthify this breakfast favorite. 

4 ways to eat healthier biscuits and gravy

  1. Limit your portions. When indulging in high-calorie foods, we want to make sure not to overdo it! Opt for one biscuit instead of two, and ask for gravy to be served on the side so you can control how much you use.

  2. Replace the extra portions with healthier sides. If you’re eating out, order an egg and fruit cup to go with your biscuit and gravy. If you’re at home, pair boiled eggs, fruit salad, or yogurt with the main entrée.
  3. Make your gravy healthier without sacrificing flavor. Some simple swaps will do the trick!
    • Use lower fat milk. Skim, 1%, unsweetened almond, or soy milk are all acceptable alternatives for making your gravy. This will lower the fat content without changing consistency.
    • Use turkey sausage instead of pork sausage. You can also leave out the sausage altogether and add poultry seasoning to the gravy to add extra flavor.
    • Use a white wheat or whole wheat flour to make your roux.

  4. Experiment with making a healthier biscuit. Try baking with whole wheat flour and/or replacing some of the butter that's called for with Greek yogurt.  

Recommended recipes

Home cooking is one of the most fun and memorable parts of the holiday season. If you're feeling a little adventurous, I recommend making these  skinny biscuits and gravy with whole-wheat sage biscuits from Cooking for Keeps. Or, give this one a try from With Salt and Wit: skinny biscuits and gravy with maple sausage gravy.

Keep a splurge a splurge

Lastly, remember that one splurge won't ruin all the progress you have made or your overall health! All foods can fit into a healthy diet if we use common sense and keep our splurges to a minimum. If you do blow your calories on a full plate of biscuits and gravy at Biscuit Love this week, get back on track the next day. Don't let a splurge snowball into becoming an unhealthy habit. Eat well, Nashville!

Hungry for more?

Check out how to eat Healthier Hot Chicken and Healthier Meat and Three. Plus, learn more about our weight loss program. Let us partner with you to reach your healthy living goals!