Heights Picture of the Week- Nov. 20
Eating Healthy This Holiday Season
The holiday season is here! It’s a special time of the year when we visit with family and friends, and gather around the table for traditional meals. In many homes, the holiday meals are larger, we eat for longer than usual, and meals are served at odd hours. This means that we eat many more calories than usual- the more calories we eat, the more weight we gain. Some foods have more calories than others even if they seem to have the same size, and in the holidays, we tend to eat foods that pack more calories. If you have any chronic conditions like high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, or even if you’re just watching your weight, it can be hard to watch what you eat, and the amount of calories you eat, without losing the holiday spirit.
Here are some ideas from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) about how to eat healthy during the holidays:
Watch the carbs. Tis the season for carbohydrates of all kinds – mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, bread rolls – and you may be tempted to try them all. To keep your blood sugar in check, take just one or two bites of each. Or pick one favorite, and limit yourself to one serving, which is one quarter of your plate. If you’re thinking of having a slice of pie, skip the potatoes and bread.
Keep it lean. Choose lean proteins, like turkey, roast beef, chicken without the skin, or fish. Lean protein has less saturated (bad) fat than red meat, and have less calories. How it’s made matters too. Gravy and sauces can have a lot more sodium than you should have in a day. Grilling, braising or roasting meats or fish brings out their natural flavors, so your taste buds won’t miss the salt.
Balance your plate. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables – they’re low in calories, but high in fiber, so they’ll help you to feel full without overeating. Remember that adding butter, cream or gravy to vegetable dishes can pack on the calories. Choose raw, grilled or steamed vegetables, instead.
Watch the number of calories. Calories are the amount of "energy," supplied from all sources (fat, carbohydrate, protein, and alcohol) in one serving of the food.
Be careful with sugar. Many foods and beverages have added sugars, which is the amount of sugar added to food and beverages during preparation or processing. You should be getting less than 10% of your daily calories from added sugars. When possible choose desserts like fresh fruit and drink water instead of sugary drinks or alcohol to avoid added sugars.
Did you know that it takes at least 20 minutes for your brain to realize that you’re full? If you already had a first serving, take a break before reaching for seconds. You might be full and not realize it yet. If you are full, think about not eating anymore. You can always save the delicious food for later or the next day when you are hungry.