According to the medical journal Circulation, the greatest number of heart attacks occur on the same three days each year: December 25, December 26, and January 1.
Known as a “Merry Christmas Coronary” or a “Happy New Year Heart Attack,” researchers think that the uptick in coronary events around the winter holidays can be credited to the financial or emotional stress patients might experience, and also to overindulgence in our favorite holiday foods, which are typically high in fat and sodium.
So, what can we do to prevent going overboard at the holiday buffet?
Consider these few tips to eat healthier during the holidays and still enjoy the celebrations:
- Use a smaller plate. Studies show that we consume more when we use a larger plate. Pull out the luncheon-size plates.
- Offer more fruit and vegetables and less hard cheese or creamy or cheesy appetizers. Think about skewers of fruit and veggies.
- Use fresh herbs and citrus flavor combinations to create interesting tastes. The added benefit is lower fat and sodium.
- Resist the temptation to go back for seconds. Give your brain 10 minutes to tell your stomach it’s full and the urge will pass.
- Proteins help you feel full, so fill up on herbed nuts, steamed shrimp, smoked salmon for healthier appetizer options.
From all of us at Church Health, Happy New Year!
This is Sharon Moore for Church Health Nutrition.