The holiday season, filled with decadent feasts, homemade goodies, and tempting treats, is one of the most delicious times of the year. While it can be challenging to resist the allure of such indulgences, it’s crucial to consider the impact of our holiday dietary choices on our heart and overall vascular health.
At Coastal Vascular Center, we understand the importance of a heart-healthy diet in maintaining optimum vascular health. That’s why we’re sharing this guide to help you indulge in the festive cheer without compromising your heart’s well-being. After all, celebrating the holidays doesn’t have to mean giving up on maintaining a healthy diet.
Choose Heart-Healthy Proteins
When faced with a choice between light and dark turkey meat, going for the lighter option can be a heart-healthier choice due to its lower saturated fat content. You may try incorporating more fish dishes into your holiday menus as well, given that fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, is high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Be Mindful of Saturated Fat
From creamy holiday sauces to the buttery crusts of pies, saturated fats often lurk in many holiday treats. Opt for using healthier cooking methods such as roasting, grilling, or braising, and try substituting butter with olive oil, a rich source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
Load up on Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are loaded with dietary fiber and heart-healthy nutrients. Make your meals colorful and vibrant by including a variety of fresh vegetables in salads or as sides, or use them generously in main courses. Also, opt for fresh fruits instead of sugary desserts whenever possible.
Moderate Your Salt Intake
Salt intake can easily escalate during the holidays with savories and cured meats. Too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk for vascular disease. Opt for herbs, spices, and other low-sodium seasonings to enhance the flavor of your dishes without extra salt.
Be Smart with Sweets
The holidays wouldn’t be complete without sweets. However, excessive sugar can contribute to weight gain and high blood pressure. Instead of heavily sugared desserts, try offering fruit-based alternatives, dark chocolate, or desserts sweetened with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
Keep Portions in Check
Overeating can result in weight gain and put a strain on your heart. Enjoy your favorite dishes, but be mindful of portion sizes to avoid excessive calorie intake.
While festive beverages are a hallmark of the holiday season, they can add unnecessary sugars and calories to your diet. Stay hydrated with water, herbal teas, or flavored water with a hint of fruits or herbs for a festive twist.
Stay Heart-Healthy This Holiday Season
The holiday season should be a time of joy and celebration. A heart-healthy approach to eating during these festive times will allow you to rejoice in the company of loved ones while taking care of your vascular health.
At Coastal Vascular Center, we’re committed to guiding you on your vascular health journey. If you have any questions about maintaining a heart-healthy diet or any other aspects of vascular health, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is always here to provide you with the necessary resources. We wish you a heart-healthy, joy-filled holiday season!