November News – Healthy Holiday Eating

Salty Snack Alert

Smiling grandfather and grandmother making toast during family meeting with happy kid

Enjoy special family time at the holidays.Salty Snack Alert

Curb Your Salt Intake

Some salt is necessary to maintain the proper balance of body fluids. But too much salt is not good especially for senior. Too much salt causes the kidneys to retain water which increases blood volume and blood pressure. Reduce your salt intake! This can help fend off heart disease, stroke and kidney damage.

Side View of A Salt Shaker

Too much salt is not good for your blood pressure and heart.

How much salt is OK?

Current guidelines recommend a sodium intake of less than 2300 mg/day for healthy adults. But if your over 50 years, you should try to keep your sodium intake below 1500 mg/day.

Low-Salt Snacks

Salt cravings hit everyone. Especially at the holidays so many delicious foods are very high in salt. Try substituting salt for garlic powder, black pepper, ginger or citrus spices. But if you must, try some of these lower salt snacks.

  • Sweet potato fries
  • Air-popped popcorn
  • Hummus with carrots or celery sticks
  • Whole wheat pretzel twists
  • Avocado with cottage chees
  • Edamame
  • Apples and peanut butter

Make Good Choices!

By eating just 200 extra calories a day …a piece of pecan pie, a tumbler of eggnog, a couple latkes, a few butter cookies…you could pack on several pounds over the holidays. That doesn’t sound like much, except few people shed that extra weight in the following months and years.

Delicious-looking turkey dinner plate.

Rich holiday foods can add extra pounds.

Treat Yourself…Pace Yourself

Eating too much is just part of holiday gatherings. Wait! It doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t need to deprive yourself.

  • Don’t eat everything at the party. Be choosy and spend your calories on foods you really love.
  • After you have finished your plate, don’t get second helpings right away. Take 10 minutes to enjoy the company. Drink some water. It takes time for your stomach to tell your brain, “I’m full.”
  • Don’t stand next to the food table. It makes it harder to reach mindlessly for food as you talk.
  • Eat a healthy snack before your go so you don’t overeat. Don’t go to the party on an empty stomach.
  • Choose more vegetables especially those that are not slathered in creamy or buttery sauces.

Alcohol and Aging

It takes less alcohol to become intoxicated when you are older because of slowing metabolism. Older adults stay intoxicated longer too because their bodies process alcohol more slowly. Vision and hearing problems and slower reaction times are also common in older adults. Alcohol impairs reflexes, so don’t drive if you have had alcohol. Even more important is the danger of mixing over-the-counter prescription medicines with alcohol. Older adults may take multiple prescription medicines while drinking alcohol, which can be very dangerous because of drug/alcohol interactions.

Waiter holding a tray with glasses of vine at party

Be careful to avoid too much alcohol.

Enjoy the holidays. Enjoy special family times together. Keep your healthy eating habits!

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