Heart-healthy holiday eating

You can be kind to your heart throughout the holidays.

The holidays can be both heart-warming and heart-healthy. These suggestions from the American Heart Association can help you enjoy holiday treats without ignoring the health of your heart:

Don’t deprive yourself. You’ll only sour yourself on the idea of healthful eating. Strive for moderation instead.

Choose carefully: Roast turkey and chicken are naturally low in fat and calories, but duck and latkes aren’t. If you want to eat dishes that are higher in fat, take smaller servings.

Wait 15 to 20 minutes after a meal before eating dessert or having seconds. You may find that you don’t want more food after waiting a little bit.

If you’re doing the cooking, find ways to make recipes more heart-friendly:

  • Substitute oil for butter or margarine.
  • Replace full-fat sour cream with reduced-fat sour cream or low-fat yogurt.
  • Substitute 1 percent or skim milk for whole milk or cream.
  • Use non-stick pans for cooking so you don’t have to use a lot of oil or cooking spray.
  • Substitute chopped vegetables for some of the bread in stuffing.

  • At holiday gatherings, focus on conversations instead of food.

  • At holiday buffets, choose a small plate to put your food on and limit your trips to the buffet table.

Besides paying attention to what you eat, try to make physical activity a part of your holiday traditions, too. Take family walks after holiday meals, or play games outside.

reviewed 11/1/2018

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