Christmas is a celebration, and one thing most celebrations have in common is food – and lots of it. But we need to watch what we’re consuming. Feature writer Kaelanne Jordan speaks with a dietician on what does a healthy/balanced Christmas plate look like.
A healthy Christmas? Yes, it is possible, says registered dietician Kimberly Suraj.
Suraj told Catholic News that the traditional Christmas menu dish “isn’t the problem really” as the real issue lies with the method of preparation of these traditional meals, as well as the use of some unhealthy ingredients.
A “healthy eating” plate, even during the Christmas season should include healthy oils (like olive and canola oil) for cooking, vegetables—potatoes and French fries don’t count—fruits of all colours, whole grains, protein and water, regardless of the occasion.
To avoid overconsumption of food, Suraj recommends persons make half their plate vegetables and fruit and a quarter of the plate with whole grains such as whole wheat, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta.
“The fibre in whole grains in small quantities slows the effect of how quickly sugar reaches your blood and prevents your blood sugar from spiking,” she told Catholic News.
Protein should make up the other quarter of your plate: poultry, fish, beans, nuts are all sources of protein that can be added to vegetables or salad.
Red meats such as beef, lamb, goat, and the Christmas ham should be limited, or leaner cuts and pieces selected. Avoid processed meats such as bacon and sausages because of their high fat and sodium content.
As a dietician, Suraj observed that some common health related issues during and after Christmas are persons becoming overweight or obese. High blood sugar or out of control blood sugars and blood pressure are commonly seen, as well as gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Eat slow and enjoy