With holiday festivities just around the corner, it’s important to still be mindful of your heart health and eating habits. We all know how tempting those warm dishes and cookies could be, but certain ingredients should be avoided or consumed in moderation. Whether you’re cooking or attending a party, there are a few things to keep in mind beforehand.
Explore healthy alternatives
It’s no secret that some ingredients add little to no nutritional value. However, there are a few healthy substitutes and tricks worth trying in the kitchen. If you can, avoid the extra cholesterol from egg yolks and cook with egg whites. When it comes to purchasing your ingredients, assess all options and look for reduced or fat-free options for dairy products. Products such as milk, cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise have alternative options with less fat and calories. Always be sure to check the labels before purchasing these ingredients and compare all options.
For your vegetables, try to keep them simple and healthy; this will also help balance out other more filling dishes. Instead of adding marshmallows or extra butter, try baking with olive oil and garlic for that healthier yet delicious flavor. Crispy and roasted vegetables could be the new crowd favorite!
Who says that desserts can’t be guilt free? Try opting for more options with fruit and natural ingredients, and swap out ingredients where you can for protein, fiber and natural sugars. For instance, try replacing regular flour with whole-wheat, coconut, or almond flour. Instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners, honey is a great (and healthy!) substitute.
Avoid extra condiments and sodium
Before picking up that salt shaker or bowl of gravy, think about what you’ve already consumed and try to do without it. While it’s important to enjoy in moderation, try not to overdo it. Just by cutting your sodium intake, you could reduce your risk for high blood pressure and other negative health effects associated with heart disease. With that, try limiting fried foods, desserts, and processed meats. While you can still enjoy, try not to overfill your plate.
In addition to filling meals, don’t forget about those liquid calories. It’s important to be mindful of your alcohol consumption and think twice about that extra cocktail. Be careful about holiday themed drinks – the extra cream adds up. For instance, eggnog is caloric and loaded with sugar. Make sure to pace yourself and avoid binge drinking!
Overall, enjoy your holiday festivities but remember to be mindful of your heart health. Pace yourself as you go and enjoy in moderation. If you haven’t already, be sure to connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
— Team at BIOLIFE4D
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