Monday, December 1, 2008

Eating Healthier During the Holidays

This information is provided by Ginger C. Edmiston from the American Heart Association.

It’s the holiday season and believe it or not, many of the traditional foods served during holidays can be healthy. Try some of these tips to ensure your delicious holiday meals are healthy too!

1. Start small - When it comes to holiday dining, the biggest concern is not just WHAT you are eating, but HOW MUCH of it you are eating. Aim to have small portions of those foods that are high in calories such as casseroles and desserts while filling up on lighter fare such as vegetables and lean turkey.

2. Talk Turkey -Turkey is a great source of lean protein and is healthiest if you skip the skin and go for the white meat. If you prefer the dark meat, mix and match in order to get a little extra flavor without adding too much fat.

3. Be sweet on sweet potatoes - Sweet potatoes are a source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber that can make a tasty side dish or dessert. A healthy way to cook them is to cut them in half, sprinkle with orange juice and a dash of brown sugar, and pop them into the oven.

4. Stuff with more veggies and less bread - Opt for less bread in your stuffing and add more onions, celery, vegetables, or fruits such as dried cranberries or apples to make a lower calorie version of the old stand by. Try using whole wheat bread in order to make it an even healthier option.

5. Sacrifice fat, not flavor - Use low-fat buttermilk or low-sodium chicken stock in place of cream or whole milk in dishes like mashed potatoes, whipped sweet potatoes, or butternut squash. You’ll achieve a creamy consistency and loads a flavor, minus the unnecessary fat and calories.

6. Steam and mash - Try sneaking in more low calorie vegetables by mashing or pureeing steamed or boiled cauliflower with fat-free milk. It’s a flavorful substitute for mashed potatoes and can help balance an otherwise potato rich meal!
Check out some great heart-healthy recipes at

Ginger C. Edmiston
Youth Market Director
American Heart Association
Mid-Atlantic Affiliate
PO Box 2361
North Wilkesboro, NC 28659
336-667-3833 Office
336-667-6095 Fax
1-800-208-5605 Jump and Hoops Hotline

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