A feast of possibilities
Whatever your holiday tradition – Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas, or going to dinners and parties – you’ll probably be faced with the temptation to indulge during December. If you want to have a heart-healthy holiday, don’t starve yourself with carrot sticks until the feasting begins. Just make a few simple switches for healthier options throughout your day and allow yourself some wiggle room so you don’t have to feel guilty about having that extra special treat. Here are some ways you can cut your calories, fat and salt intake without resorting to an unhealthy crash diet.
Better alternatives for everyday food
Instead of: Half & Half cream in your coffee (2 tbsp/25 mL) = 36 calories, 4 g fat
Instead of: Jelly doughnut, 1 = 289 calories, 16 g fat, 249 mg sodium
Instead of: Semisweet chocolate, 1 square (1.3 oz/38 g) = 180 calories, 11 g fat
Instead of: Jellybeans, 10 = 104 calories
Instead of: Plain eggnog, (1 cup/250 mL) = 361 calories, 20 g fat
Instead of: Rum and eggnog (1oz/28 mL rum, ½ cup/125 mL eggnog) = 295 calories, 10 g fat
Make healthy choices at the big meal
Instead of: Turkey, dark meat, 3 small slices = 155 calories, 6 g fat
Try our holiday recipe: Spiced turkey with cranberry chutney.
Instead of: Potato, mashed, 2% milk and butter (½ cup/125 mL) = 124 calories, 5 g fat, 488 mg sodium
Instead of: Dinner roll, white refined grain flour (1 oz/28 g) = 85 calories, 2 g fat, 148 mg sodium
Instead of: Canned cream corn (½ cup/125 mL) = 97 calories, 1 g fat, 385 mg sodium
Instead of: Italian salad dressing (1 tbsp/15 mL) = 93 calories, 10 g fat, 235 mg sodium
Instead of: Butter (1 tbsp/15 mL) = 103 calories, 12 g fat, 119 mg sodium
Instead of: Pumpkin pie, 1/6 slice = 229 calories, 10 g of fat
Remember – having too much salt may be harmful to your heart, so read sodium values in the Nutrition Fact tables on food packages and in recipe nutrition information, and hold off on the salt shaker whenever you can. The Heart and Stroke Foundation recommends that Canadians consume no more that 2,300 mg of sodium (the equivalent of about 1 tsp/ 5mL of salt) a day total from processed foods and salt added during food preparation and at the table. If you have high blood pressure, consult your physician for specific dietary recommendations.
Read the Foundation’s position on sodium in the Canadian diet.
Posted December 2007.