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Healthy Eating Tips for the Holiday Season

The holidays are here! This time of year is always a busy time for us seniors – whether it be traveling to spend time with loved ones or shopping for grandchildren.

While it may be tempting to try all the cookies at the holiday party this year, remember that it is important to remain committed to your health all year long! Below are some tips to help you maintain your healthy diet this holiday season.

Know Your Food Groups

1200px-USDA_MyPlate_green.svgWe all recall the food pyramid, but did you know there is an easier way to determine what food groups to eat daily? The United States Department of Agriculture created “MyPlate,” which offers ideas and tips to help you create a healthier eating style that meets your needs and improves your health. MyPlate illustrates the five food groups and how much room each should take up on your plate. Simple enough right? Additionally, ChooseMyPlate.gov has specific information about each food group and offers personalized eating plans. Be sure to check it out!

Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods

One of the best ways to maintain a healthy diet is to eat foods that are filled with nutrients, and it is equally as important to take in a variety of nutrients. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, foods that are brightly colored are typically richer in nutrients. Specifically, when choosing which fruits and vegetables to eat, vibrant colors are your best bet! Whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein (chicken, seafood, and beans) are also great ways to diversify your nutrient intake. By eating a meal filled with nutrients before attending that cookie swap you’ve been invited to, you won’t be as tempted to eat all of the unhealthy snacks.

Read the Labels

Food labels are helpful tools to determine the nutritional value of a certain food, though they can be a bit confusing. To make it easier to read these labels, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has included a how to guide on their website. The FDA recommends you limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium and carbohydrates, so you should pay close attention to that section of a nutrition label. And be sure to talk to your doctor about all of this!

Stay Hydrated

Apple cider and hot chocolate may be perfect for the holiday season, but these beverages aren’t nearly as healthy as water! Be sure to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. I’ve found carrying around a reusable water bottle is helpful to remind me to drink more water.

How do you plan to eat healthy this holiday season? Tell us in the comments section below!