6 tips for heart-healthy holiday eating

heart-appleYou 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.

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