Holiday gatherings usually feature special foods, and often they are made with rich, fatty, calorie-laden ingredients. How to survive without spiking your blood pressure or blood glucose? Moderation in everything is a pretty good rule of thumb.

Happy new year with healthy parties

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New Year’s Eve parties are going to be in full swing in a few days. Holiday gatherings usually feature special foods, and often they are made with rich, fatty, calorie-laden ingredients. How to survive without spiking your blood pressure or blood glucose? Moderation in everything is a pretty good rule of thumb. Keep some distance from the buffet table while visiting – at least further than arm’s length. And bringing one or two of your own dishes that have been lightened-up in salt and sugar is a great idea. Here are some holiday party ideas.

Save on Calories

  • Drink calorie-free most of the evening, limited alcoholic beverages to save calories and to keep late-night driving safe.
  • Focus on fruit and vegetable offerings.
  • Make dips with healthy ingredients like plain Greek yogurt, herbs and spices.

Select the Healthiest Fat Sources

  • Olive bar
  • Assorted roasted nuts
  • Avocado or guacamole
  • Hummus
  • Salmon spread

Other Healthy Options

  • 2% cheese and multi-grain crackers or pita chips
  • Turkey breast meatballs
  • Spicy shrimp
  • Smoked salmon

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. Take your prescribed meds, also. Add a long walk to your day if you can, and then a good walk on New Year’s Day to off-set some of the calories consumed. Believe it or not, you really can get through the holidays without a weight gain. And you can avoid a trip to the emergency room because of a glucose or blood pressure spike.

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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