Tips for a Healthier Holiday Season from American Heart Association

Free Healthy Holiday Eating Guide Available

 As we prepare to gather with family and friends this holiday season, the American Heart Association (AHA) reminds us that we can make smart recipe substitutions to keep our holiday meals—and the people we love—healthier. Over-indulging in traditional holiday foods can add extra pounds to our waistlines, and increase our risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

More than 60% of Americans are overweight or obese, according to the AHA, so getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is important during the holidays and year round. The AHA recommends making small buteat-mindfully impactful lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease and stroke, the nation’s number one and four killers. Studies show that more than 80% of heart disease can be prevented with simple lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, exercising 30 minutes most days of the week and eating healthier.

The American Heart Association says the first step is to determine your daily calorie intake with an app or online calculator, then adjust your daily calories into the healthy range. A good place to start is by eating more fruits and vegetables which are low in calories and high in nutrition.

“Many of the traditional foods served during the holidays can be healthy – the trick is to not load on the butter, sodium and sugar,” said Roufia Payman, DT, CDN, supervisor of Outpatient Nutrition Counseling, and diabetes lifestyle coach at Northern Dutchess Hospital. “Add color and nutrition to your plate with seasonal squash, roasted vegetables and fruit-based desserts.”

All of the holiday parties and dinners can throw off your healthy lifestyle goals. The American Heart holiday-healthy-eating-guide-2016-cover-imageAssociation is offering its annual Holiday Healthy Eating Guide to help people navigate the holiday season in a healthy way. The 13-page free guide has tips, recipes and resources to help maintain a healthy lifestyle during the busy holiday season. The guide is available free online at www.bit.ly/AHAHolidayGuide.

Party with a healthy plan in place!
The AHA recommends healthy portions, limiting the empty calories in alcohol drinks and filling up on healthier fruits and vegetables first, before the less healthy options. Keep dessert temptations to small samples of your favorites instead of full servings, and eat mindfully to enjoy every morsel. Don’t stand near the party buffet and avoid mindless nibbling.

Plate-Up Health First
Be sure to pack your holiday meals with lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, fish, skinless poultry, and plant-based side dishes and main courses.

Swap-In Healthier Choices
Substitute fat-free and low-fat dairy products for the higher fat versions, like Greek yogurt for sour cream. Use lower sodium versions of foods like broth, canned vegetables and sauces. Use whole-grain breads and pastas instead of white flour ones. Cook with unsaturated, healthier fats, and non-tropical oils. Eliminate trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils. If you choose red meats, select the leanest cuts. When it comes to poultry, light meat is leaner than dark. A serving size of meat is 3 oz., about the size of a deck of cards.

Avoid the empty calories of sugar-sweetened beverages, particularly if you are going to indulge in small samples of desserts. Here are some more tips!

More Cooking Tips

  • Use vegetable oils such as olive oil instead of butter.
  • Use herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves, to flavor dishes instead of butter and salt.
  • Bake, grill or steam vegetables instead of frying.
  • Instead of whole milk or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or fat-free/skim milk.

Baking Swaps

  • Instead of butter, substitute equal parts cinnamon-flavored, no-sugar-added applesauce.
  • Instead of sugar, use a lower-calorie sugar substitute.
  • Instead of whole or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or skim milk.
  • Instead of using only white flour, use half white and half whole-wheat flour.
  • Instead of adding chocolate chips or candies, use dried fruit, like cranberries or cherries.
  • Use extracts like vanilla, almond and peppermint to add flavor, instead of sugar or butter.

Healthier Beverages

  • Instead of alcohol in mixed drinks, use club soda.
  • Instead of adding sugar to mixed drinks, mix 100-percent juice with water or use freshly squeezed juice, like lime.
  • Instead of using heavy cream or whole milk in dairy-based drinks, use low-fat or skim milk.
  • Instead of using sugar to sweeten cider, use spices and fruit, like cinnamon, cloves and cranberries.

Of course, exercise is critical to weight management and overall health. The AHA recommends getting 30 minutes of vigorous exercise on most days of the week. Eating more? Walk more! A brisk walk before or after meals can help burn those extra calories.

To find more simple ways you and your family can eat healthy, visit www.heart.org/healthyeating.

By |November 16th, 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Heart Healthy Thanksgiving Tips from the American Heart Association

Mashed potatoes with cream. Stuffing made with sausage and butter. Candied yams with caramel sauce and marshmallows. Pies, cakes and cookies. It’s a Thanksgiving buffet of our dreams. But over-indulging in these beloved holiday foods can derail your healthy eating habits, causing dreaded holiday weight gain. And that’s weight we don’t lose over the course of the year.Heart-Healthy-Thanksgiving-Tips

Nearly 70% of American adults are either overweight or obese. Being obese increases th
e risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and more.

According to the American Heart Association, more than 80% of heart disease can be prevented with simply lifestyle changes like exercising 30 minutes most days of the week; eating a healthier diet filled with fruits, vegetables and whole grains; and limiting sodium, saturated fats and added sugars.

Enjoying time with our family and celebrating with traditional foods we know and love doesn’t have to be unhealthy. To keep your diet, and health, in check over the Thanksgiving holiday, try these healthy tips from the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign, including ways to minimize stress and smart substitutions for your holiday meals.

Try healthy recipe substitutes to make your favorite holiday recipes better for heart health.

Baking

  • Instead of butter, substitute equal parts cinnamon-flavored, no-sugar-added applesauce.
  • Instead of sugar, use a lower-calorie sugar substitute.
  • Instead of whole or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or skim milk.
  • Instead of using only white flour, use half white and half whole-wheat flour.
  • Instead of adding chocolate chips or candies, use dried fruit, like cranberries or cherries.
  • Use extracts like vanilla, almond and peppermint to add flavor, instead of sugar or butter.

Cooking

  • Use vegetable oils such as olive oil instead of butter (even in your mashed potatoes).
  • Use herbs and spices, like rosemary and cloves, to flavor dishes instead of butter and salt.
  • Use whole-grain breads and pastas instead of white.
  • Bake, grill or steam vegetables instead of frying.
  • Instead of whole milk or heavy cream, substitute low-fat or fat-free/skim milk.

Prepare healthy vegetables, eat a balanced meal

Now that you’ve prepared some of your Thanksgiving meal with healthy substitutes, prepare yourself a balanced plate of all your favorite holiday foods, starting with a salad and vegetables. Eating your veggies will ensure you get the nutrients you need and will help fill you up so you don’t overload on the foods your body needs less of, such as rolls, stuffing and pie.

Increase physical activity

The American Heart Association advises increasing physical activity over Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season to combat the extra calories and additional stress. Go for a family walk after each meal or gathering. Play catch with your kids or walk your dog the long route. Take just 40 minutes and go to the gym to release endorphins your body needs to stay healthy.

Keep stress to a minimum

There’s so much to do at the holidays. Taking care of family, cooking, cleaning—Thanksgiving can involve a lot of activities that not only keep you busy, but can also increase your level of stress. Keep stress to a minimum with stress management techniques. The AHA recommends:

  • Planning ahead to help you with time management
  • Focusing on one thing at a time
  • Taking time to relax & not sweating the small stuff

Get enough sleep

Part of living a heart-healthy lifestyle means getting enough sleep. Why? Because your quality of sleep can impact your heart health. The American Heart Association recommends adults get six to eight hours of sleep per night. Over the holiday, get into bed early to give yourself enough time to wind down after your day and to fall asleep faster and more soundly.

For more tips, download the AHA’s free Holiday Healthy Eating Guide at http://bit.ly/AHAHolidayGuide2015.

Learn more about a healthier lifestyle at www.heart.org/gettinghealthy and get free recipes at www.heart.org/recipes.

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RECIPE
Try this quick, Simple Cooking with Heart recipe for using holiday leftovers anytime you’re craving Thanksgiving flavors. It’ll be a nice change after a heavy meal.

Festive Turkey Rice Salad

Presented by:  Walmart – Simple Cooking With Heart

Serves 6 – 203 Calories – 25 mg Sodium

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. ground ginger
3 1/2 cups cooked wild or brown rice
1 1/2 cups chopped, boneless, skinless, cooked turkey breast
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 bunch chopped green onions (1/2 cup)

Directions
In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, oil, honey and ginger; set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the rice, turkey, cranberries and green onion. Toss with ginger dressing. Refrigerate until serving.

Additional Tips

You can also toss leftover peas or your veggies of choice into the salad. Make this delightful salad year round using Rotisserie chicken or leftover chicken breast. Use quick-cooking couscous instead of rice.

Kids in the Kitchen: Have the kids help you measure out the ingredients and pour into the bowl.

Nutritional Info

Per serving:
Calories Per Serving 203
Total Fat 2.9 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.7 g
Cholesterol 29 mg
Sodium 25 mg
Carbohydrates 30 g
Fiber 2 g
Sugars 9 g
Protein 15 g
Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 1/2 lean meat

By |November 24th, 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |0 Comments