Holiday feasting and healthy eating
It’s the biggest holiday of the year. And it comes with lots of fun and presents, cheers – and calories. I don’t want to dampen your Christmas spirits but there’s no denying it – we tend to feast and fatten ourselves during the holiday season. But cheer up. We need not deprive ourselves of the goodies that Christmas brings. Health experts give us some tips on a healthy holiday diets for us and for our family – with out taking the fun out of the party.
Get yourself a couple of those low-calorie, cholesterol-free recipe books. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends The Best Healthy Soul Food Recipes cookbook. In addition,
- Load on the vegetables
- For meat, the lean type is preferable; for poultry, go for the light breast mean and take it easy on the thighs and the skin.
- Pan drippings are fat traps, use fat-free liquids instead such as wine, low-sodium tomato juice or lemon juice for basting.
- Slim down the gravy. If you have to use the drippings (it just tastes better, let’s face it), then chill the dripping first and then remove the fat.
- Go for the cranberry sauce. Check out its health benefits here.
At a party
- Go for a variety of food – in small portions.
- At the buffet, go for the sushi and the veggie cuts. However, take it easy on the dips and the salads.
- Take it easy on the wraps and the dim sum. You never know what’s inside.
- If you are sure it’s reduce-fat cheese, then go for it. Otherwise leave the cheese alone.
- Water is still the healthiest drink you can get. If you have to drink alcohol (it has calories, too!), then go for red wine – in moderation. But keep in mind, drinking alcohol while pregnant or even while breastfeeding is a bad idea!
At the supermarket
- Check for products with the AHA heart-check mark. A product carrying this mark “has been screened and verified to meet the AHA’a certification criteria to be low in saturated fat and cholesterol for healthy people over age 2.“
- Check out nutritional facts on the packaging. This US FDA resource: How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label can help you out.