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.