9 Tips for Keeping Your Cholesterol and Blood Sugar in Check Over the Holidays

DOCCS Urgent Care, cholesterol, blood sugar, Holidays

The holidays are time for friends and family to come together. It’s also a time many Americans get derailed from their normal eating habits and are likely to eat more and exercise less than any other time of year. What’s more, it can last for weeks, causing both your cholesterol and blood sugar to spike. With some practical tips, you can enjoy holiday festivities and take care of your health this holiday season. Here’s how.

Tip #1: Make a plan.

Creating a plan before the holidays arrive is an excellent way to ensure that you stay on track. It’s a good idea to decide which indulgences you plan on allowing yourself, along with strategies for handling holiday temptations. If you’re currently on a carbohydrate-controlled diet to manage blood sugar, you may want to aim for a carbohydrate range per meal. Your plan will serve as a guideline to keep you healthy while enjoying holiday festivities.

Tip #2: Exercise portion control.

Managing the amount of food you scoop on your plate can have a significant impact on how much food you eat. Holidays are often tied to overindulging and diving into holiday foods without restraint. A healthy approach is to remain aware of how much you’re eating and actively control food portions. The same portion sizes that keep you healthy the rest of the year can help you keep your cholesterol and blood sugar in control over the holidays.

Tip #3: Choose beverages wisely.

Eggnog and other holiday beverages laden with excess sugar and fat can take a toll on your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. You can make ‘light’ versions of these holiday favorites, such as swapping out full fat milk for almond milk in your eggnog recipe. It’s also wise to have healthier beverages on hand like herbal tea. Peppermint tea is an excellent holiday beverage for keeping your cholesterol and blood sugar in check.

Tip #4: Don’t go on an empty stomach.

Showing up to a holiday event with a huge appetite is a sure-fire way to ruin your cholesterol and blood sugar control during the holidays. Enjoying a nutritious snack before you head out to that holiday party will go a long way toward reigning in your appetite and cravings. A high-protein snack like low-fat yogurt with a handful of nuts will keep you feeling satisfied, so you can make healthy food choices while you participate in holiday activities.

Tip #5: Keep mindfulness at the forefront.

Applying mindfulness during the holidays will help you remain present and focused during holiday meals. It’s wise to avoid multitasking and control your environment as much as possible by turning off the television and cell phones when you eat. Focusing on your meal, enjoying the taste and texture will keep you aware of your body’s signals that you’ve had enough.

Tip #6: Go for lean cuts of meat.

Turkey, corned beef, and ham are just a few meats often found at holiday gatherings. The saturated fat in some meats can have a significant impact on your cholesterol. When it comes time to fill up your holiday plate, reach for lean cuts of your holiday favorites. For instance, a serving of turkey breast contains only about two grams of saturated fat and will help keep your cholesterol in check.

Tip #7: Don’t make it all about food.

Gathering around a wonderful holiday meal with friends and family is an integral part of coming together and celebrating the holidays. However, all holiday festivities don’t have to revolve around food. Having food-free holiday activities is a great way to stay healthy and avoid overeating. Everything from holiday games to festive movies can keep you engaged with friends and family and enjoying the holiday season.

Tip #8: Have guilt-free desserts.

The holidays and high-sugar, high-fat desserts often go hand-in-hand. To keep your cholesterol and blood sugar in check, it’s a good idea to have healthier holiday dessert options available. Instead of a decadent lemon meringue pie, try making low-sugar lemon bars. They’re just as tasty, and you won’t feel deprived. Use a little creativity with your cooking to swap out excess sugar and fat for better options.

Tip #9: Enjoy fruits and vegetables.

Save room on your plate for fruits and vegetables. They’re naturally low in fat, provide fiber and help keep your blood sugar stable. By dividing your plate into fourths and filling a quarter with fruit and another quart of vegetables, you’ll stay balanced throughout the holidays and can have a guilt-free holiday season.

 

At DOCCS Urgent Care, your health is our number one priority. Call our Melbourne, Florida office for general inquiries and appointments, or use our innovative website to request prescriptions, make appointment requests, and more.

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