The Holiday Season is a time for celebrating with friends and family. We extend good wishes to people we know and look forward to a New Year full of promise. Part of the celebration involves eating special foods that we don’t enjoy at other times of the year. With a bit of planning, you can follow a heart healthy diet at holiday gatherings.
1. Eat something before you head out.
Make a point of having a snack before you go to a holiday party. If you aren’t famished by the time you arrive, it will be easier to avoid overindulging in high-fat foods. A container of yogurt, some low-fat cheese or some hummus and whole wheat crackers are good choices.
2. Put lean cuts of meat on your plate.
Turkey is a good choice, since it is low in fat. To keep the fat content down, stick to white meat over dark.
3. Go light on sauces and dips.
Many foods that are popular during this time have heavy sauces. If you want to have gravy with your meal, use a small amount only and add some cranberries to your plate as a lower-fat alternative. Load up your plate with vegetables and enjoy their flavors and textures without masking them with a lot of dip.
4. Don’t let the dessert table be your downfall.
One of the things that we look forward to at holiday time is the assortment of goodies that are available. While it may be tempting to decide that you only live once and fill up your plate with a generous portion of everything that is being offered, resist the urge to go overboard with these sugar- and fat-laden treats.
Instead, make a conscious choice about which dessert you would most like to eat and have a small portion. Eat slowly and savor every bite. Be aware of the flavor and texture of the food.
The Holidays are a busy time, but you can still stay on track while enjoying special foods. If you follow the 4 tips for heart healthy eating during the Holidays here, you won’t have to make a New Year’s resolution to change your diet.