Festive season comes with many “goodies” but this is not the time to forget our healthy eating habits especially for those with existing medical conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and others. It is the time to be extra cautious on what you’re feeding to reduce disease progression. According to World Health Organization people with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes, obesity and overweight are at greater risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death.
Eager to learn how you can effortlessly maintain your healthy habits all through the holidays? Here’s what Nutritionist Lucy Chege recommends.
1. Watch your portions
Practice mindful eating by filling half of your plate with a “rainbow” of vegetables. Choose from a variety of vegetables, each color represents a specific nutrient, this way your body will get more nutrients and less calories.
Eat more of plant source proteins and limit too much animal proteins as they are the source of saturated fats that raise bad cholesterol putting one at risk of cardiovascular diseases and other diseases.
2. Smart substitutions
When it comes to baking and cooking, use whole-wheat flour instead of white, use low-fat or skim milk instead of heavy cream, or use vegetable oils or soft margarine to replace butter.
3. Go for a walk before you sit down
Before your family sits down to the dinner table, go for a walk, play some football or basketball in the yard, or load up and head to a local gym or community center. Not only will this help you keep everyone entertained, but it will help you burn a few calories too!
4. Choose the lighter meat
Lighter meats have fewer calories and less fat. You can also cut a few more calories by removing any skin from the meat you eat. Eating the skin on your meat adds extra calories to your meal.
5. Less is More
Instead of having one full serving of each delicious dessert in the kitchen, take small samples of your favorites or even share your full serving with someone else. Choosing a smaller plate is a simple trick that could keep your portion sizes on track and curb overeating.
The writer, Lucy Chege is a registered and licensed nutritionist based in Kenya, proficient in medical nutrition therapy.
Facebook: Lucy Chege