Archive for December, 2010

Seniors Eat ‘holiday healthy’

The holidays are a time of merriment, family and food – lots of food. It is not unusual for people to gain 5 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Yes the food is part of it all, but holiday eating needn’t be high in fat, sugar and calories and short on nutrition. Just a few minor ingredient changes can make all the difference. Just think – you may not have to have to make the diet resolution this year!

According to HealthDiscovery.net, mulled cider or lowfat eggnog are good alternatives to high fat eggnog. Eggnog can also be diluted with skim milk. Nonalcoholic or de-alcoholized wines are improving all the time and make a great alternative for the holidays.

Skim milk and other ‘low’ or ‘no’ fat dairy products can be used in recipes whenever possible.

All meats should be cooked on a rack so fat can drip away. Another good idea is to baste with low fat broth instead of the drippings from the pan.

Fortunately, most vegetables contain little or no fat. Avoid smothering vegetables with thick creamy sauces or butter. In addition, salads are a great at a holiday meal.

Rather than cooking stuffing inside of poultry or a roast, cook the stuffing in a casserole dish or aluminum foil in the oven. This will reduce the amount of fat in the stuffing.

Making gravy from a low fat broth rather than the drippings from poultry or a roast is a good way to reduce fat. Or add ice cubes to cool drippings. The fat will stick to the cubes and can be removed.

Cranberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C. However, the canned version looses much of the nutrients. If you make your own, substitute some artificial sweetener for some of the sugar in the recipe.

A good dessert is angel food cake which contains little or no fat when served with fruits such as strawberries or raspberries.

There are many ways in which you can help to strike a balance between maintaining a healthy diet and joining in with the fun and festivities. Here’s a list from PivotalAdvisor.com:

  1. Exercise: Yep, you have to do it, but start slowly. Try a brisk walk before the day takes over. Stretching in the evening helps with relaxation.
  2. Review your cooking methods: Grill, don’t fry. Use spray oils. Lighten up on the sauces.
  3. Invest in lower fat ingredients for cooking: By swapping regular ingredients, foods and drinks for their half-fat alternatives you can make a big cut-back on fat and calorie consumption.
  4. Prepare for outings: If there’s a social function ahead, eat a low-fat, healthy snack before the party. You may not lose control at the party – at least food-wise.
  5. Be wary of sugary foods: Always remember that rich, sugary foods have a nasty habit of making us crave yet more rich and sugary foods.
  6. Stock up on healthy snacks: When shopping, buy some healthy snacks such as raw carrots and celery.
  7. Moderate alcohol intake: Alcohol contains calories and lots of them. Try lower-calorie beers and wines.
  8. Be assertive: If you say “No thanks” don’t be bullied into eating more.
  9. Leave what you don’t want: When you feel full, stop eating. Simple. (Really, it isn’t so simple, but try it.)
  10. Spend extra calories carefully. If homemade red velvet cake is a “must,” don’t eat a mediocre appetizer.

And happy holidays!

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