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Heart Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

13734339-largeIt is duly noted that a drive through your neighborhood’s business district would have you believing that we’re already deep into December and that Thanksgiving has long since passed us by. That, however, is not the case. Christmas Creep may have already begun in earnest, but Thanksgiving is still several days away.

Thanksgiving, although a wonderful and festive holiday in its own right, can be a tough one for your ticker. How on earth can you celebrate satisfactorily and maintain some modicum of heart healthiness? Well, we have some tips listed below (and more planned for tomorrow). The word “Tofurky” will not be mentioned within them…not one time.

Knowing your “number” is a start: Counting calories is a noble effort, but only if you know how many calories you need in a given day. Fortunately, the American Heart Association has a resource that you can use to help you determine that number. All you need to do is click here to visit heart.org/explorer…there you can get a personalized dietary plan. Then, you’ll know how much holiday food you can consume and still be within your recommended range.

Pick ingredients that are low in sodium: The American Heart Association recommends consuming less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day. In spite of said recommendation, Americans are generally consuming about 3,400 milligrams per day, on average. Excess sodium can raise blood pressure, which can damage blood vessels…which leaves you susceptible to heart attack and/or stroke. So, pick foods that are low in sodium for your Thanksgiving menu. Read those labels and look for the Heart Check-Mark.

Don’t drink your calories: Pumpkin lattes, eggnog, apple cider, hot chocolate…these are the drinks of fall and winter. They are also – usually – loaded down with excess calories, fat and sugar. If low-fat-calorie-sugar options are available, pick them. Otherwise, utilize skim milk and sugar substitutes as often as possible. Also, water…drink that, instead.

Connect with the American Heart Association by following us FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram. Text HEALTH to 27722 for healthy lifestyle tips and heart healthy information on the go! Links on this blog are not endorsements.

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