Having a Heart Healthy Holiday Season

The holidays are a time to enjoy the company of loved ones and reflect on the past year. Large holiday feasts and sweet treats often have a prominent role in the traditional celebrations of many families. If you have a heart condition or you’re working to reduce your risk of heart problems, you can still enjoy the holiday celebrations simply by taking a few precautions. From our family to yours, the heart care team at Riverside Community Hospital wishes you a joyous and healthy holiday season.

Indulge in Festive Dishes
If you’re already receiving care at a heart hospital, consider asking for a referral to a registered dietitian. A dietitian can help you design a heart-healthy holiday menu that includes seasonal items like sweet potatoes, baked winter squash, and roasted carrots or Brussels sprouts. When you fill your plate, roughly half of your meal should consist of vegetables and fruit. Another quarter should be whole grains and the last quarter should be lean proteins.

Lighten Up Baked Goods
Baking holiday cookies is a holiday must for many families. You can lighten up your favorite recipes by substituting a blend of oat flour and whole wheat flour in place of white flour. Consider using zero-calorie Stevia instead of sugar and canola oil or applesauce instead of butter. Include more options than just cookies, such as baked apples and stewed plums.

Drink in Moderation
Your cardiologist may have already provided recommendations regarding your alcohol consumption. If you aren’t already receiving care at a heart hospital, consider sticking with the general guidelines for alcohol use. Men are advised to consume no more than two alcoholic beverages daily. The daily limit for women is one drink. Instead, try a glass of sparkling juice or seltzer. If your holiday traditions include a glass or two of eggnog, consider purchasing non-dairy eggnog products like soy eggnog.

Riverside Community Hospital is a renowned heart hospital with full accreditation from the Society for Chest Pain Centers. At The Heart Care Institute, patients from the Riverside area can access technologically advanced medical innovations, including diagnostic procedures, emergency heart care, and comprehensive cardiac rehabilitation. If you’re experiencing a possible cardiac event such as a heart attack, please call 911 immediately; otherwise, call our heart hospital at (951) 788-3463.

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