Surviving holiday parties in good health
New Year’s Eve parties are going to be in full swing in a few days. Parties and gatherings usually feature special foods, and often they are made with rich, fatty, calorie-laden ingredients.
How can you survive parties without spiking your blood pressure or blood glucose? Moderation in everything is a pretty good rule of thumb.
Save on calories throughout the party:
- Drink calorie-free: Water, seltzer water and flavorful teas
- Focus on dishes that feature fruits and vegetables
- Bring a dip with low-fat ingredients such as Greek yogurt, lite sour cream or reduced-fat cream cheese. Add herbs and spices, as well as minced garlic and finely diced vegetables.
Look for dishes with healthy fats:
- Nuts such as walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and almonds
- Avocados or guacamole dip
- Hummus made with olive oil
- Salmon spread
Other great-for-you munchies:
- Low-fat cheese and multi-grain crackers or pita chips
- Turkey breast meatballs
- Black bean-salsa dip with baked chips
- Spiced shrimp
New Year’s Eve parties are lots of fun. It is a special time with family and friends but you can maintain reasonable eating even at the merriest of gatherings. Plan to eat your usual meals and snacks throughout the day so that you are not starved by the end of the day.
Enjoy a long walk sometime during the day if you can. Believe it or not, you really can get through the holidays without a trip to the emergency room because of a glucose or blood pressure spike or a weight gain.
About the Author
Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.