5 Tips to Eat Healthy in the Holidays
Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to throw your good eating habits and your heart health out the window. After all, you’ll be sharing your meals and toasting drinks with people you like—you don’t want the risk of hypertension or high blood pressure ruining that. So we listed tried and tested ways you can eat healthy this holiday season, and they’re recommended by experts too!
1. Eat a little before you go to the party.
We understand how tough it can be to resist chicharon and while we think that you should be able to eat food that you enjoy, it’s also important to remember that eating a healthy diet is about balance and intention.
Adding color to your plate with more vegetables and fruits is a good start as these are generally low in calories, and are high in dietary fiber which helps fight bad cholesterol. Try substituting high-calorie snacks with fruits or go for healthier alternatives like unbuttered popcorn, an apple, or whole grain pastry so that you can satiate your hunger without packing in calories. You can still eat your favorite dessert now and then; just be mindful to control your portions so that you don’t go overboard on sugar and trans fats.
And speaking of fats, it’s time to make the switch to monosaturated varieties like canola oil and olive oil, and cut back on full-fat butter and palm oil to help limit the calories you get from fat. As for your proteins, plan everyday dishes that use leaner meats such as chicken breast, eggs, and fish. Varieties like tuna, salmon, anchovies, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are proven to help lower bad cholesterol and help prevent cardiovascular diseases. Alternatively, you can take omega-3 supplements to help keep your cholesterol levels in check and reduce risk of heart disease.
2. Slow down and savor the food.
A lot of people skip meals before going to parties in an attempt to make room for the food they’d be filling up on later, but doing this may actually be more harmful to digestion than they realize. Going to a party hungry sets you up for overeating which can jumpstart stomach discomfort like heartburn, bloating, or indigestion. This advice is especially important if you plan on drinking alcohol. Booze can increase your appetite and may cause you to eat more than you should.
Snack on something light and healthy like fruits, nuts, or oats before you head to the party. Not only do they help fight bad cholesterol, they also help keep your appetite and blood sugar at neutral levels which minimizes the risk of overeating.
3. And leave some for fruits and vegetables.
If you’re pitching in a dish to a party, take this opportunity to bring something healthy like an easy vegetable side (yes, kimchi counts!), a salad (go easy on the dressing), or a basket of fresh fruits (think kontra-umay) that you can cut up and serve at the venue This way you can help strike a balance between courses not just for yourself but for everyone who’s watching what they eat as well.
4. Take it easy on the alcohol.
Depending on who you’re dining with, it can be easy to guess if there will be alcohol at the party. If you’re planning to drink, make sure you don’t do it on an empty stomach. Stay hydrated throughout the party and set a limit on drinks as you would with food.
5. Bring your medications with you.
It’s no longer unsexy to keep a stash of your medications, vitamins, and supplements in your purse. If it helps you take care of yourself better, by all means keep a cute pill case in your bag and remember to take them on time. Keep in mind that taking medications don’t go well with alcoholic beverages; it wouldn’t hurt to know how your meds interact with the food and drinks you take.
As with most things, moderation is key when it comes to holiday feasts. Do your heart a favor by being mindful of your portions and timing. It also pays to be ready at home with omega-3 supplements like Cardiclear to help lower bad cholesterol and lower blood pressure.