November 24, 2014
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Tips to Make Holiday Eating Habits Healthier

Holiday eating habits are often characterized by overindulgence. From the first taste of turkey on Thanksgiving Day till the last pig in blanket hors d'oeuvre on New Year's Eve, holiday eating habits are not always healthy.

Unhealthy eating and overindulgence during the holidays is something many people accept as a staple of the season. But it's just as easy to enjoy a healthy diet during the holidays as it is to go overboard. All it takes is a nip and tuck here and there to make holiday eating habits healthier.

* Contribute healthy items when attending social gatherings. Many holiday parties are pot luck, wherein each guest brings a dish to the party. Instead of contributing another batch of holiday cookies, bring a healthy dish, like a large salad that makes for a great appetizer or a low-fat and low-calorie dessert that everyone can enjoy.

* Don't forget vitamins and minerals. There's no way to control the menu when attending holiday functions like office parties or even when traveling to visit family and friends. But, when cooking during the holiday season, add more healthy foods to existing recipes to make up for any lost nutritional value. Include more vegetables in the menu, and don't be afraid to add nuts, fruits or beans to meals as well.

* Limit alcohol consumption. Overindulging during the holidays does not just pertain to eating too much turkey. It's easy to overindulge with alcohol as well. In addition to being dangerous, overindulging with alcohol is also very unhealthy. Many drinks are high in calories, even if the drinks are four ounces or less. A 3.5-ounce martini, for instance, is well over 100 calories. When consuming alcohol during the holidays, limit yourself to one drink. It's not only safer to do so, but it also benefits the waistline.

* Baste with broth. Holiday turkeys need to be basted, and arguably no baste is healthier than fat-free broth. Many recipes call for basting with fat drippings or sauces. But fat-free broth is a much healthier option, and might even taste better.

* Don't miss meals. Thanks to the hectic nature of the holiday season, it's easy to skip a meal or two here or there, especially if there's a holiday party later in the day. But skipping meals will only increase the likelihood of overeating at holiday gatherings, which, as mentioned earlier, often feature less healthy fare.

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