This year, due to COVID-19, health experts are all advising against large holiday gatherings and are instead advising that we limit our holiday celebrations to members of our own households and to consider meeting virtually with extended family members and friends. However, we might still be tempted to overcompensate with our food and beverages even within those small gatherings. No matter the size of our group, making healthy choices should always be important.
Eating healthy during the holidays can be quite challenging. Between holiday parties and family dinners, it is quite easy to indulge in all the trappings of the season by making unhealthy food choices. We all should watch what we eat. However, if you are living with a chronic health condition like diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease, eating healthy is critical.
Harvard Medical School suggests the following tips for eating healthy during the holidays:
- Don’t eat everything you see. Spend your calories sparingly, only on the foods you love.
- Take a 10-minute break after your first helping before attempting a second serving.
- Do not stay close to the food table at a party. Pop a mint or a stick of gum if tempted to continuously reach for chips.
- Do not arrive at the party with an empty stomach. Power up with complex carbohydrates and proteins to keep you fuller longer before attending.
- Drink water or juice flavored seltzer between alcoholic beverages.
- Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
- Work off those calories by dancing or walking.
- Do not ignore the fruits and the veggies and try not to pair them with high calorie dips and sauces.
- Take inventory of all the buffet choices before putting anything on your plate.
- Do not shop on an empty stomach.
- If you are preparing the holiday meals, make sensible substitutions with less saturated fats, prepare poultry and fish instead of red meat, or add more vegetable side dishes instead of pasta or white rice.
For nutrition counseling referrals or for your annual physical, you may walk-in to any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, or you may schedule an appointment by visiting our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.