Healthy Habits – Amidst the Christmas Season

We have come to that time of year! For each of us, some of our lives get busier, some slower, some wait patiently while some struggle to bear the excitement.  Nonetheless, food takes a huge role in family and friends gatherings during the holidays.  

Most of us recognize the old saying, “You are what you eat.” Why is eating a healthy diet so important? According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), “A healthy diet can reduce the risk of major chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and some cancers.”

Alarming statistics from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, released by U.S. Department of HHS support the prevalence and the need to take individual action.

  • 37% of the U.S. population has cardiovascular disease.
  • 35% of the U.S. population over the age of 20, are pre-diabetic (in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes).
  • Almost 1 in 2 men and women will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime.

Some tips to beat the odds are:

  • Do your best to stay active during the holidays.
  • Eat a healthy snack before attending a holiday party so you are not famished and risk overeating once you arrive.
  • Choose a few things that you really want from the food table instead of grabbing every single appetizer that’s available. (Try to add veggies and fruit to your plate, too).
  • If you overeat at one meal, go light on your next one. It’s ok to splurge once in a while.
  • Watch out for high caloric beverages! Choose cocktails with low calorie mixers such as diet sodas and diet tonic water.

Healthy habits may be difficult to start or continue during this joyous season, but simply making one attainable goal for your self is just enough! 

The author of this blog post is Katie Opatz, RN Case Manager in our Little Falls office.