Healthy Holiday Eating

The holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and loved ones, and those celebrations usually tend to come with an overindulgence in foods and other sweet treats! Below I share some tips on how to eat healthy this winter season and avoid putting on any extra pounds!

When it comes to preparing your Christmas feast, it’s not uncommon to want to skip meals to “save room” in hopes of avoiding any weight gain — and while you think might think you’re doing your body a favour, you could actually be doing it more harm than good.

Christmas dinners tend to be larger than the average dinner, and often have us going back for second and third helpings despite the fact that you may be consuming foods that are healthy and nutrient-rich (i.e. Brussels sprouts, yams, and that delicious green bean casserole.) When we skip meals, our bodies become hungrier, meaning we’re much more likely to overeat. Skipping meals also means you’re not getting all the essential nutrients your body needs throughout the day in order to combat certain diseases and illnesses. Therefore, I recommend eating as normal. To help you satisfy your hunger, make sure you include plenty of fibre in your diet during the day by consuming whole grains as well as fruits and vegetables.

With Christmas also come desserts and plenty of snacking — this includes everything from candy canes, to chocolate, to fruitcake, to apple and pumpkin pie. While it can be tempting to want to indulge in it all, it’s also important to be aware of not only how much you eat, but what you eat, as certain desserts tend to be higher in calories than others. Desserts can also be a problem for those who are diabetic. If your diabetes is under control then indulging in a few holiday treats shouldn’t be a problem. However, if your blood sugar tends to have high spikes or very low drops then you’ll want to take extra precautions. As many different things can cause glucose levels to decrease or increase, I recommend checking your blood sugar regularly. You can find more tips on how to manage your diabetes during the holidays by clicking here.

When it comes to the holiday season, food and your health, it’s simply a matter of staying mindful.



Dr. Ali Ghahary is a Family Physician in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

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