Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

For Everyone

Oakland Medical Center wants you to enjoy the holiday season. Overindulging can put your good health at risk. Make better choices at holiday parties by following a few of these tips:

Snack a little. Having a snack before a meal can relieve hunger and keep you from overeating.

Eat more fruits and vegetables. Choose the carrot sticks over the fried cheesy bite party appetizers. Remember, too much Ranch dressing can add calories too.

Portion size is important. The right size for a protein portion is not larger than the palm of your hand. Vegetable and grain portions can be larger.

Leave some food on your plate. If you go out for a meal, take some home for the next day.

Small treats are fine. It’s OK to eat dessert – just keep it to a few bites. Great big pieces of fatty, sugary things strain your liver and pancreas.

Drink more water. Eggnog, spiced wine, and holiday hot chocolates are all high in calories. Have a little holiday treat, but just a little.

Eat breakfast. Starting the day hungry might make you choose larger portions later in the day.

Exercise more. Even if it’s cold outside, regular physical activity will keep your metabolism up and your muscles strong.

For Diabetics

Most holiday treats are loaded with sugar – cookies and desserts are not the only source of trouble for your blood sugar levels. A cup of egg nog has about 20g of sugar.

People with diabetes should always avoid snacks with high sugar content. Popular energy bars with just 100 calories can have 44 carbs and 22g of sugar – a bad choice. Try a plain Greek yogurt – 100 calories but just 6g of sugar.

Main dishes can be trouble for your levels too – yes, sweet potato is a vegetable and “better” than regular potatoes with about 1/3 less carbs, but it often is served with brown sugar glaze that you should avoid.

Proteins are fine – just be careful to keep the gravy to a minimum because of its high fat content. Same thing for stuffings and dressings – they can be very high in fat.

Pick foods that are nutrient-rich and minimally-processed: vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, lean meats and dairy in sensible portions.

Making good food choices can help you enjoy the holidays even more!