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Friday, December 16, 2011

Healthy at the Holidays?

As crazy as it may seem--with the way we can so easily overeat at holiday dinners and parties--holiday food can be healthy.  All it takes is a little bit of smarts, self-discipline and moderation.

If you have a choice between something fried and something baked or sauteed, choose the baked (although fried food done correctly isn't as bad as you might think).  Still, shrimp sauteed in olive oil is better for you than fried shrimp. 

Try to avoid pre-made dips and salsas.  Dips and the like that are pre-packaged usually are loaded with sodium and preservatives.  And they don't taste all that great either.  It's so easy to whip up some hummus or some other dip with fresh ingredients (I just made a red bean dip for a party in literally less than 5 minutes).  Better taste, healthier and less expensive--why wouldn't you make it yourself?  Eat them on whole-grain breads, chips or crackers and it's even healthier!

Choose things like salmon, chicken or shrimp for a low-fat option (not to mention the anti-oxidants in the seafood).  Beans, cheese and nuts have protein.  Even dark chocolate and red wine are said to be healthy.

The common factor in all this is moderation.  A few pieces of cheese provides some good calcium and protein.  Eating a pound of cheese throughout the evening provides fat and cholesterol that outweighs the benefits.

So control yourself and know what you're eating!  Life's too short to deprive yourself of great holiday food--just be smart!

Thanks to this USA Today article for some information on this subject.

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