Happy, Healthy Holidays

Family, friends, food, and…..well….even more food! Tis the season for many of us to eat more than we usually do, but we want to leave you with a few healthy tips to help guide you through the holiday weekend!

From Foods4BetterHealth.com:

  • Stick to Your Healthy Routine: It is important to keep your healthy routine around the holidays….try to stop eating after dinner, and try to keep your regular exercise routine before the holiday party starts.
  • Eat Big Before the Party: It is a good idea to start your day with a big breakfast and healthy lunch. When it is time for dinner, you will likely to be too full and will decide against taking a second plate of food.
  • Bring Healthy Foods to the Party: Party hosts often make it difficult to eat well during the holidays with plenty of high-fat and high-calorie choices. Instead of making a poor choice, bring something healthy to the party or Christmas celebration.

According to U.S. News & World Report, one of the keys to a healthy holiday is to avoid “overindulging.”

Heavy drinking and eating too much, especially salty foods, can trigger atrial fibrillation. A-fib is an irregular heartbeat that causes the upper chambers of the heart to contract rapidly, increasing the risk for stroke.

During December when holiday revelry peaks, emergency rooms see a surge of patients with what’s unofficially dubbed “holiday heart syndrome” from too much food and drink, according to UT Southwestern cardiologist Dr. Sharon Reimold.

“It’s common for people to go to multiple parties during this time of year. You go to one party and have a drink or two, go to the next party and have a couple more. It’s the cumulative effect of alcohol that can put you at risk, sending your heart into atrial fibrillation,” Reimhold said in a hospital news release.

Healthday.com added, “Healthy adults should get no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium a day, according to the American Heart Association. That’s less than a teaspoonful….it’s important to watch what you’re eating and drinking at holiday celebrations and avoid overdoing it.”

However – that doesn’t mean you have to deny yourself the foods you really enjoy. The Globe and Mail wrote you should “give yourself permission to enjoy what you really love.”

Be it turkey stuffing, shortbread, latkes or kugel, eating foods you truly enjoy helps you feel satisfied and, as a result, allows you to pass on the rest. Plus, research suggests that you need to eat only a small portion of your favourite food to feel satisfied. What scientists call sensory-specific satiety declines with increasing consumption. Eat a small portion of what you find delicious and savour it.

Bottom line – keep your eating and drinking in moderation, stay active, enjoy time spent with family and friends, and don’t stress out trying to make the holidays “perfect.” We also want to thank you for a fabulous year in 2016 and hope that, together, we can take another big step in 2017 toward making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation! Happy Holidays!

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