How can I have a heart healthy holiday?

Here are two ways you can stay heart healthy over the holidays:

  • Stick with your exercise routine. People tend to drop off or don’t exercise as much around the holidays, but just going out for a 30-minute walk before or after you have your big holiday meal is going to help keep your energy levels up and reduce other cardiovascular complications.
  • Maintain medication compliance. Plan ahead on what you need during that time and make sure you have refills available.

The recipe for heart healthy during the holidays is: low-saturated fat foods as much as possible+ being mindful of sodium+ a little bit of walking each day (or other fitness)+ relaxation = enjoying the holidays.

  • Saturated fat comes from MANY foods at parties and holiday get-togethers; from cheeses, sausages, and any roasted meats to deep-fried turkeys. This sat fat is not so hot for our hearts, so aim for leaner cuts of meat or even better is fish or seafood without the cheese! Skip the eggnog and choose a classic wassail for zero sat fat.
  • Naturally, fruits and vegetables are the best bet for low-sodium and low sat fat foods during the holidays. Aim for sliced pears on salads, baked apples, cranberries and roasted squash, green beans and pomegranates. Fill up on these yummy foods at holiday events or at home since they are in season.
  • Flavor foods with citrus, herbs and fruits and vegetables instead of a lot of added salt.
  • Balance all of the food with fitness so weight gain does not happen over the holidays. If shopping is your cardio, that is great, but skip the snacking in the meantime!
  • Getting enough sleep is key to weight management, so be sure to balance the holidays rest to ensure a rested heart.
Dr. Scott M. Leibowitz, MD
Sleep Medicine Specialist

Have a heart healthy holiday by keeping in mind the rule of thumb that moderation is the key to health. Watch this video to learn more tips from Dr. Scott Leibowitz on how to have a heart healthy holiday.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.