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Your health: Don’t wait until the New Year to prioritize health, start with these tips for happier holidays

The holiday season is often a period consumed with over-indulgence and guilt. But with a few simple dietary tweaks, you can have your cake and eat it too. Physician and New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Michael Greger, shares his top evidence-based health tips for the season from NutritionFacts.org:

Dr. Michael Greger

• Go for a daily walk outside or on a treadmill. Getting in more steps each day not only helps burn more calories; research indicates it may offer longevity benefits as well.

• Follow the plate method. When serving your meals, fill half your plate with greens and non-starchy vegetables and eat these foods first. Doing so can increase the nutritional value of meals while also crowding out the richer, heavier foods.

• Transform dishes traditionally made with meat and dairy into plant-based versions. Substituting whole plant food ingredients in place of meat and dairy in recipes reduces the caloric load and boosts the vitamin, mineral, and fiber content. If doing this with every dish seems daunting, start with the sides or even try one plant-based meal a day and then work your way forward.
• Eat the Daily Dozen, Dr. Greger’s list of the healthiest foods people should consume daily. The list includes foods such as berries, cruciferous vegetables, and spices, and can be tracked daily with a free app available for Apple or Android devices.

• Reduce or avoid alcohol consumption. Research indicates that even low-level alcohol consumption does not appear to offer any health benefits, and may in fact result in worse health outcomes, so if possible, skip it altogether.

“When it comes to holidays, remember, it’s not what you eat today that matters, or tomorrow, or next week, but rather what you eat over the next months, years, and decades, so you have to find lifestyle changes that fit into your lifestyle,” says Greger. “It’s really your regular routine that determines your health.”

An evidence-based eating guide, meal planner, app, and library of nutrition and health information can be found free to the public at www.nutritionfacts.org.

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One Comment

  1. Carola Jain says:

    The plate method is a very underrated one for those looking to make better health choices. Great tips shared here in general!

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