4 Things to Avoid Over the Holidays

We know that we tend to overdo it this time of the year. Here are a few common sense reminders for staying on track and eating healthier as the season gets hectic.

Dr. David Ostreicher, author of Brush Your Teeth and Other Simple Ways to Stay Young and Healthy, lists the four common things we should try to avoid over the holidays.

  • Salt. “Salt raises your blood pressure and can lead to heart attacks and strokes,” Ostreicher said. “It has also been linked to cancers of the stomach and esophagus. Throw out your salt shaker. You don’t need to add any salt to your food. Salt is not the only spice. We should all make much better use of pepper or other spices. When cooking, leave out the salt, or cut the amount in half. After a period of time, your sensitivity to salt will change. Your taste buds will accommodate to the normal salt diet, and soon you will find you don’t need it anymore."
  • Sugar. Ostreicher believes we eat way too much of it, and the wrong kinds of it. “Whether it’s in the form of table sugar (from sugar cane or sugar beets), or high fructose corn syrup, the average American eats about three pounds of sugar a week,” Ostreicher said. Skip it whenever possible.
  • Empty Calories. Those three pounds of sugar is equal to 3,312 empty calories per week meaning there are no vitamins, minerals or fiber from those calories. “That will convert to 4 pounds of fat per month," he says. "No wonder obesity in America is epidemic.” Sweets like baked goods, white bread and other highly processed, white foods are generally high in calories and low on nutrition.
  • Fat. “Fat is another endless supply of calories,” he says. USDA Dietary guidelines suggests we limit total fat to 20 to 35 percent of our calories. Most Americans get more than that. Fat, especially the bad fats--saturated and trans--are linked to obesity, heart attacks and cancer.

Here are some more sensible diet tips from CafeMoms in the Diet & Fitness Questions section.

I definitely have a problem just saying no to sugar. Which of the above four is your weakness?

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