• Cardiovascular

    Mayo Clinic Minute: How to make healthy holiday food choices

During Thanksgiving, food often takes center stage at gatherings of friends and family. The focus is on turkey, pie and all the sides. But it also can challenge healthy eating habits.

Andrea Delgado, a Mayo Clinic dietitian, says that by paying attention to how much you eat and how often, you can make healthy food choices during the holidays.

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (1:01) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please courtesy: "Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.

Sit down. Enjoy your holiday meal, says Delgado.

"There's never an all-or-nothing approach in nutrition, you can still enjoy everything in moderation," she says.

Delgado says overindulging during the holidays can be a tipping point for some.

"Maybe now we have a new diagnosis of high cholesterol or a new diagnosis of prediabetes or diabetes because, even though we only did it for a short period of time, it was enough that we were close enough to be diagnosed with these new conditions," she says.

One strategy includes weighing your options and making choices.

"Let's say I have a green bean casserole, which is filled with cream of mushroom and a lot of other ingredients, versus just a side of green beans. Your better option would be the green beans," she says.

roasted green beans for Making Mayo's Recipes. Healthy food choices
Make healthy food choices during the holidays - include fresh vegetables when possible.

But what about that pumpkin pie?

"We can still have a small wedge, but maybe we don't add the whipped topping or the additional toppings that we might add typically. It's not really cutting out entire foods. It's more how can we reduce the portion or what we add to those foods," says Delgado.

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