For many, the holidays are filled with friends, family, celebratory events and above all, lots and lots of food.
But as much as we love to indulge during the holidays, not watching what you eat can drastically affect your health–and the health of an aging parent.
So with Thanksgiving now under our belts, we’re thinking about holiday eating tips. Throughout this week, we’re going to cover several tips to help you healthily eat your way through the holidays.
Today, we’ll start with foods you should try to avoid.
Raw or undercooked eggs*
For many, eggnog is a holiday tradition, but the risk of food-borne illnesses is heightened because it contains a large amount of raw eggs. To avoid such risks, it’s advised that you stay away from products that contain raw or undercooked eggs.
- Salad dressings (e.g. Caesar)
- Raw cookie dough or cake batter (a grandchildâ€™s favorite)
- Sauces like hollandaise and mayonnaise
*Foods made from commercially pasteurized eggs are safe to eat.
Foods high in sodium (salt)
The holiday season is also a time when the sodium content in food is particularly high. Reducing sodium can help prevent water retention and high blood pressure. Avoid over salting your food and, if possible, see if the family cook can use low sodium stocks and seasonings (especially in the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes).
Though it might be tempting to eat these kinds of processed foods that often grace the snack tables at holiday parties, it’s best to avoid them. If you can’t resist, then try balancing out your diet with foods that slowly digest such as lean protein (e.g. chicken breast) and healthy fats like avocado or natural peanut butter.
Other foods to avoid (Typically found on appetizer trays):
- Soft cheeses like Brie, Camembert and varieties of blue cheese
- Refrigerated smoked seafoods from the deli or grocery story–unless in fully-cooked dishes like casseroles
- Meat spreads, pates, or luncheon meats
- Unpasteurized juices, such as apple cider (check the label for warnings)
It might seem obnoxious to constantly check yourself as you try to enjoy the holidays, but keeping on eye on what you eat (and how you eat) will help keep you healthy for the round of holiday seasons to come.
If you have any questions or comments, let us know by connecting with us on Twitter. We’d love to hear from you!
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