How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays title=
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays
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By Connor Hanrahan

The holiday season often comes with delicious and hearty food. Although most of that food is full of fats and sugar, tasty but not very nutritionally redeeming. 

Cold weather forces the heart to work harder and it is a common misconception that fatty foods will help you stay warm. In reality, you will feel warm after the meal while your body metabolizes the food, but the ‘cold weather caused’ blood vessel constrictions combined with the consumption of overly fatty foods sharply raises the chance of a blood clot or heart attack.

Turkey is the staple of any decent dish during the holidays, but it should also be the staple of a healthy diet. Another crowd favorite is ham.

“The nutritional value of the meats depends on the quality of the meat source,” said Santa Barbara-based personal trainer Daniel Senn. “Meaning the diet the animal was on and the presence of hormones, or lack thereof. Eating quality meat will not adversely affect health, but one should cut as many processed foods out of their diet as possible.”

“Look for range fed, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free turkey or ham,” confirmed author and gut health expert Julia Loggins. “The toxins and chemicals in most nonorganic farmed produce are impossible for our bodies to break down and process.”

Stuffing is often thought of as the quintessential side to the aforementioned turkey, often being cooked inside so it may soak up the juices of the turkey. An easy way to cut the fat from stuffing is to simply add less butter and use half of the fatty meats recommended. 

The final staple to any successful holiday meal is mashed potatoes, the heaviest portion of the meal. High in starch and carbs, the best way to ensure the potatoes do not ruin your holidays is to “replace the cows milk in the recipe with almond or rice milk. You can whip your potatoes in either of those and you will not notice a difference,” said Loggins.

However, if altering your family’s traditional recipes is not an option, an alternative is to consume a nutritious appetizer like a banana or salad before the meal. Salads are very high in dietary fiber and will help your stomach better indicate to you when you are full to prevent overeating. 

The digestional benefits of eating a salad beforehand also include: preparing the stomach for heavy foods such as sugars and starches, engaging your body’s digestion process before consuming heavy foods, and supplying your body with vitamins unavailable in the food being eaten during the holiday supper.

Preparing your stomach with a banana will provide the same health advantages as a salad but it will supply your body with different vitamins. Bananas are much higher than a salad in potassium, an element that can reduce chances of a blood clot by twenty one percent if eaten each day; the boost one needs before eating over one hundred percent of your daily carbohydrates and fats intake.

If digestion is a concern, adding brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, broccoli, or artichoke to a recipe can double the fiber of an entire meal. If vegetables aren’t appealing, popcorn offers 14.4 grams of fiber, more than any of the aforementioned foods. The suggested daily fiber intake is 25 grams for women and 38 for men.

During the upcoming holidays, keep your heart in mind, be mindful of your health, and most importantly, enjoy the most delicious time of the year.

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Babycakes Dec 19, 2020 02:36 PM
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

I slice up onions, yellow squash, green squash, mushrooms, bean sprouts, sweet pototoes, and sautee in butter and olive oils...splash if white wine, cover....13 minutes...plate...romano Then have a healthy slice of berry pie with voe-nilla ice cream... nap it off...

a-1608430212 Dec 19, 2020 06:10 PM
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

Oh my gawd. Can't you leave people to their own for even a few days. This kind of guilt trip is so tiresome. We know what is "good" to eat and what is not. Lay off.

a-1608432111 Dec 19, 2020 06:41 PM
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

Not to mention the prevalence of hunger in this time.

I think SB Food Bank is doing pretty well; please consider donating to Feeding America, which can coordinate among food banks in large cities and areas of the country:

I've also donated to needier counties in CA, like Imperial.

a-1608481684 Dec 20, 2020 08:28 AM
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

You lost me at ham is a healthy staple. Also that quality meats won’t affect health adversely. Completely untrue according to just about every study pertaining to nutrition. There were also hundreds of beautiful cyber filled appetizers to enjoy over the holidays. A banana? That’s just depressing. Please consult with qualified nutritionist before printing opinion articles on nutrition.

biguglystick Dec 21, 2020 10:25 AM
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

I agree 100%! Meat is NOT a healthy meal! Go meat free. Live longer and better and be kind to animals in the process.

chico berkeley Dec 20, 2020 09:30 AM
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

BBQ 'ed Turkey and Lobster for the family is what we are doing.
Some here sound like Trump if he was selling vegeterrorism,
Bombastic nonsense.

a-1608484671 Dec 20, 2020 09:17 AM
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

Lots of sugar in bananas, lots of fat in ham. No mention of alternative "holiday" meals such as seafood, gluten free meatless pasta or stir fry. Turkey is not a "staple" for many of us although cheap due to commercial factory farms injecting them with hormones to increase the size. Nutrition is a hard topic during the holidays. .

a-1608490033 Dec 20, 2020 10:47 AM
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

Bananas are not a good choice for anyone with incipient renal/kidney disease. This sort of stuff really shows how such generalized opinions should not be dispensed, especially under the banner of righteousness.

sacjon Dec 21, 2020 11:17 AM
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

Eat whatever you want! It's one time a year. Same with Thanksgiving. Unless you are so morbidly obese that you are on death's door, take a break from the diet and indulge and enjoy! Worry about your calories the other 363 days a year! If you're a vegetarian or vegan, well first of all my deepest condolences, but go ahead and splurge on some decadent veggies haha! Is that even a thing?

a-1608607934 Dec 21, 2020 07:32 PM
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

I'm an omnivore, but yes, decadent vegetables are possible! Though I eat butter... I'm happy with beans and veg in a dressing of mayonnaise and capers. Can't resist a liquid-yolk fried egg either. With butter of course!

a-1608608060 Dec 21, 2020 07:34 PM
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

Or a comfort meal of potatoes and veggies, steamed, sauteed, or boiled. With butter! It's like the fall-back of mac & cheese for comfort. I'm also never without several cheeses.

This IS the season for a rib roast! And king crab legs.

FondofSB Dec 21, 2020 11:29 AM
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

And how about just simply "eating healthy year-round" ? It's easy to do, not expensive and provides very tasty meals !

Shasta Guy Dec 21, 2020 09:17 PM
How to Eat Healthy During the Holidays

Yes Sacjon, eat what you want. 12/19 @ 6:10, cares what the food nannies and shamers say. Enjoy what you like, and let others enjoy what they like. We’ll be having a slow smoked bone-in ribeye roast along with some tasty vegetables. Do something to help those less fortunate. In January it will be back to cabbage salad lunch with low fat protein.

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