The holiday season is right around the corner, and we hope that you and your family have a wonderful holiday this December.
Here are a few things the AHA suggests you to be mindful of this holiday season to keep you on track through your heart healthy journey:
- Eating naturally healthy foods during the holidays – and throughout the year – can help lower the risk of heart attack and stroke associated with fatty, salty, and sugary dishes.
- Use oil or margarine instead of butter. If a dish doesn’t seem flavorful enough with less salt, find a substitute spice.
- With almost any food preparation, you can cut fat, sugar, and salt by about a third without anyone noticing.
- Use a small plate so you don’t overload.
- Eat some fruit or vegetables before a party to avoid arriving hungry.
- Drink water, coffee, tea, or other non-calorie beverages to keep you full.
Take Control of your Health
When it comes to eating healthy, we all make excuses. Don’t let excuses get in the way of eating healthier! This holiday, we can put aside the common excuses for overindulging and come up with ways to help us get through our health journeys to be heart healthy.
- It’s a holiday. While indulging a little bit won’t hurt during this holiday season, you can plan ahead for special meals that can be healthy too. You can hack your holiday cookies by adding fruits, oatmeal, and nuts as main ingredients rather than ingredients with less nutritional value.
- I am stressed. “Comfort Foods” might be calling your name during a joyful yet stressful season for some. Stressful times calls for overeating, even when you might not be hungry. Instead, try taking a brisk walk and reaching for a healthy snack. Click here for more tips on stress management.
- I already blew it with that cookie. We often forget that nobody’s perfect. Rather than focusing on what you did last, focus on what you can do next. Planning ahead makes life easier when you can eat healthier while you’re out and about. Portable snacks like nuts, fruit, or popcorn can save you from eating junk foods from the vending machine.
- Someone brought donuts to the office. Just because something is for free, it doesn’t mean you have to indulge. To curb your cravings, keep your healthy snacks handy! However, if you do indulge, find a way to get in some extra physical activity. Click here for tips on how you can stay active.
- I don’t have time to eat healthy. You can cut up a cucumber or an apple in the time it takes to call a pizza place and find that coupon. In fact, salad can make a great make-head meal, where the possibilities are endless. Additionally, preparing healthier snacks in advance can allow you to avoid snacking on potato chips, cookies, candy, etc.
- It’s hard to find healthier choices when eating out. Whether we like it or not, healthier options are everywhere now! Be sure to look up menus online and don’t be afraid to ask about substitutions. To avoid overeating, try sharing portions or saving half for later. Click here to find more information on healthier ways to dine out.
- I’ll start being healthy tomorrow. Why wait? The sooner you start, the sooner you will see the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. Click here for some tips to help you adopt a healthy diet.
With an array of tips and strategies to keep in mind this December, what matters most this season is spending time with family and friends!