Tips for healthy holiday eating

Keep your holiday food cravings under control this season

Family enjoying holiday dinner

We hope you’re having a stress-free and fantastic season, but whether you’re traveling or right here at home, one of the hallmarks of the holidays is the delightful food on the table.

During this indulgent time, we want to help you keep any diets and food sensitivities in check without completely cutting out traditional, delicious dishes. We treat a variety of food-related issues, ranging from diabetes to celiac disease, and have provided a few suggestions for addressing these issues. These tips can certainly help with your menu decision-making this month.

Encourage your friends and family to enjoy all that’s offered, but keep an eye on the prize: your health and well-being. Your feast may call for the traditional sides and desserts, but there are plenty of alternatives that will satisfy.

  • Increase the variety of side dishes at your holiday meals. Include high-fiber, low-fat options, such as fresh fruits and roasted or raw vegetables, which will also add plenty of color to your table.
  • Consider healthier substitutions. Replace sour cream with Greek yogurt, use avocado or olive oil instead of butter, offer whole grain rolls rather than white bread, and whip up some fresh cranberry sauce — not canned. In many cases, these alternatives can actually enhance the taste of traditional dishes.
  • Keeping portion sizes small is difficult with large plates and cups. Reduce the surface area and you’ll reduce the calories.
  • Drink fewer alcoholic or other high-calorie beverages.
  • Of course, skipping or splitting dessert is always an option …

    It may be tough, but monitoring your diet during the holidays will keep your choices healthy and help you keep that quickly approaching New Year’s resolution. We hope that with a continued focus on health, including regular exercise and smart food choices, our neighbors in Portland will minimize their risk of obesity, diabetes or other ailments.

    If you want to maintain your weight, prepare for a new year of better nutrition, or simply hope to lose a few pounds, The Portland Clinic has nutrition and physical activity experts available for in-depth counseling with patients. Please contact reach out with any questions you may have.