Holiday Food Indulgences: 3 Ways to Eat Better & Be Healthier This Holiday Season by Susan Bowerman, M.S., R.D., CSSD, CSOWM, FAND
The upcoming holidays may feel a lot different to all of us, but one thing that likely won’t change this year: holiday indulgence. Here are three ways to indulge healthfully over the holidays:
- Hydrate as much as you eat. Water is essential for nutrient absorption and helps with overall digestion and provides a natural way for your body to detox. Remember that fluids other than water can hydrate you, too, like coffee and tea – just make sure to limit your caffeine intake.
- Fill up on protein and veggies. One way to resist unhealthy eating is to incorporate more protein and vegetables into every meal while cutting back on carbs and fat. Protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, eggs and legumes are filling, and also supply vitamin B, vitamin E, iron, zinc and magnesium. To get more veggies in, skip the starchy sides and double up on the greens. The extra fiber will help fill you up faster.
- Select your sweets carefully. In the holiday eating survey, 43 percent of respondents admitted to eating more than one dessert during a meal. Many sweets can have a very high-calorie cost, which is counterproductive to maintaining a healthy weight, so try limiting yourself to small servings of those special treats that you only eat at holiday time and try to avoid the "everyday" sweets that are less special. Another way to rethink the way you prepare dessert for your family is cooking or baking with fruit, or for a healthier ice-cream-like treat, try peeling some bananas, wrap them in waxed paper and freeze them. You can slice them and eat them or throw them in a blender.
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