It’s the holiday season — full of parties and potlucks that offer celebratory desserts and other rich and delicious foods. It can sometimes be tough to avoid these temptations when you are actively managing a chronic condition or simply trying to prevent holiday weight gain.
To help you have a healthy holiday this season, we’ve gathered some helpful tips from a few Live Well San Diego Recognized Partners.
The American Diabetes Association offers these suggestions:
- Try to avoid stress, and the eating that comes with it, by planning your activities in advance.
- Incorporate physical activity into your holiday traditions, such as taking a walk or playing a game outside with your family.
- Try using low-fat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream or a low-fat spreadable cheese in place of regular cream cheese. Check out recipes from the American Diabetes Association for more healthy food ideas.
- Use a little less sugar in your baked goods. The natural sweet of the fruit in pie doesn’t require a lot of added sugar. For cookies, try using more cinnamon, citrus or flavored extract in its place if needed.
- Have healthy foods to nibble on while you are cooking or waiting to eat.
- Don't feel like you have to sample everything on the table.
- If you really want to try everything, use a smaller plate or make your portions smaller.
- Eat your vegetables. Offer to bring a green salad or a side of veggies.
The Skinny Gene Project, a local nonprofit that educates and empowers San Diego County residents to prevent type 2 diabetes, suggests swapping out ingredients in your favorite dishes for healthy fats and greens.
- When choosing your recipes for your merry meal, look for dishes that are made with fresh foods. Great choices include Brussel sprouts, spinach salad, roasted sweet potatoes and apples, asparagus, broccoli and fruit salads. Sprinkle salads with chopped nuts instead of croutons.
- Look for recipes using healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, canola oil and nuts. If the recipe calls for butter, try substituting it with a healthier vegetable oil. If one of the ingredients is cheese, opt for a low-fat cheese to reduce the saturated fat.
For more information and recipes, download the Healthy Holiday Eating guide from the American Heart Association.
Choose My Plate has many resources on healthier holiday options, including this infographic to post and share.
Have a wonderful holiday season!