Beat the Holiday Bulge: Healthy Holiday Food Choices
Health experts consider it the worst time of the year for older adults trying to maintain a special diet or those who battle the bulge. The average American gains ten to twelve pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year. That isn’t healthy for any of us, but for older adults living with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes it can be downright dangerous. But no one wants to feel left out of the season’s festivities even when so many of them revolve around food.What can you do to enjoy the holiday party season without packing on the pounds?
Here are few tips to help you make healthy holiday food choices this year:
- Lean poultry and seafood are almost always better choices than beef when it comes to your main dish. You can easily remove the skin from poultry to keep from consuming extra fat.
- Sweet potatoes are becoming increasingly common on restaurant menus. They are high in fiber and vitamins B6, C and D – a great alternative to that unhealthy holiday staple mashed potatoes and gravy.
- Skip the eggnog and spiced cider. Both are high in fat, calories and sugar. If you want a warm drink, order hot cocoa. It is a healthier alternative. Really.
- The fresh vegie tray is always a good place to graze during cocktail parties. Just remember to skip the dip. Most are made with sour cream that is high in fat.
- Avoid cocktails made with liqueurs. They are just plain unhealthy. Choose wine or a wine spritzer.
- Cranberries are a power food rich in antioxidants and fiber.
- Always choose the salad with leafy greens like spinach, romaine and kale. They are full of fiber and vitamins ranging from A – K. Just watch what kind and how much dressing and other goodies you pile on. Vinaigrettes are usually the safest choice for salad dressing.
- Pick the pumpkin pie but skip the whipped cream. Pumpkin is a much better choice for dessert than pecan pie. It is lower in fat and higher in fiber and vitamin A.