A holiday table groaning with food doesn’t have to leave you groaning with remorse. If you are at risk for, or already have, heart disease, a little good sense during this season can leave you reaping the benefits all year long. Here are a few tips from the American Heart Association that can help you enjoy the festive treats that abound without wrecking your commitment to good health:
- Realize that healthy eating should never consist of a list of “no-no’s,” especially this time of year. Totally depriving yourself will only set the stage for dissatisfaction with your so-called “healthy eating.”
- Indulge mindfully — roast turkey is naturally low in fat and calories, but holiday fare like ham or latkes (potato pancakes) have lots of fat. To enjoy traditional favorites that are higher in fat, practice moderation and eat a smaller amount of them.
- Wait 15 – 20 minutes after a meal to request seconds or dessert — your willpower might kick in or your appetite for sweets might lessen. You may be satisfied with half a slice of pumpkin pie instead of a full slice.
- Don’t let these occasional treats become substitutes for healthful foods. Continue to include the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Eating enough of these good foods may keep your appetite for less healthful foods at bay.
- If you’re the hostess, make a beautiful and tasty centerpiece of colorful fruits, and invite your guests to indulge.
- When cooking, look for recipes using vegetable oil instead of butter or hard margarine, use reduced fat sour cream, low-fat yogurt, and skim milk.
- If you or your guests are sports fans, consider a healthy alternative to salty, high-fat snacks. For healthy baked potato chips, for example, slice potatoes very thinly and bake on a lightly oiled cooking sheet until crisp.
- Take a walk at “half-time” or before dessert. Brisk walking for one hour burns 300 calories.
- As with good food, enjoy alcohol in moderation as well, or toast your good health with nonalcoholic beer and spritzers. Too much alcohol is not only mind-numbing and a trigger for accidents, but it’s fattening too
Healthy Living Article List