Think healthy during the holidays

Food will always be a major part of the holidays and eating healthy can be a challenge. Learn some tips on how to be more health conscious while enjoying the foods you love.

As most of us know, food is an important part of holidays and with all the delicious snacks, meals, desserts and drinks to choose from, it’s not hard to understand how healthy eating habits can sometimes be forgotten or disregarded. So how can we enjoy the holiday season, be health conscious and still enjoy the foods we love? Here are some tips from Michigan State University Extension to help maintain healthy habits while joining in on all the holiday fun and festivities:

  • Incorporate healthy foods into your meals - Fill your plate with whole, nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables before adding high calorie, fatty, foods. This allows you to get a taste of your favorite holiday foods while getting the nutrients and vitamins that make you feel good and are healthy for you.
  • Eat regularly - Avoid starving yourself before going to a party or holiday gathering. Saving your calories for a special event tends to make one lose control, over-indulge and consume more calories than if you eat well throughout the day.
  • Watch sugary foods - Rich, sugary foods have a way of making you crave them even more. Limit your sweets by taking smaller portions or better yet, satisfy your sweet tooth with a piece of fruit instead of a piece of pie.
  • Exercise - Make time to visit the gym, ride your bike or go for a walk. Regular exercise not only helps burn off the excess calories consumed during the holidays, it is also a great way to manage any stress you might be experiencing.
  • Limit alcohol - Don’t forget that alcoholic drinks tend to be high in calories. A 12 ounce bottle of beer contains 150 calories and a four ounce glass of wine is around 100 calories. Opt for lower calorie options or request the healthiest beverage choice - water.

For more information on eating healthy during the holiday season, check out these websites:

http://www.dukehealth.org/health_library/health_articles/healthy-eating-during-the-holidays-tips-from-a-duke-nutritionist

http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=4294967607

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