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Heart Health Holiday Tips

December 18, 2009

The American Heart Association has a page of helpful tips for the holidays that includes heart-healthy recipes with a grocery list and tips for healthy twists on traditional favorites. You can even send your invitation using their website and offer friends an opportunity to donate to the AHA at the same time.

Here are some of their heart-warming, heart-friendly tips:

  • Choose assorted unsalted nuts, fiber-rich crackers and raw vegetables with low-fat dressing or hummus for quick snacks or appetizers at a holiday party. These are great alternatives to a typical cheese platter that’s loaded with saturated fat.
  • If you like eggnog, be sure you buy the low-fat or fat-free version to cut down on calories and fat. Mulled apple cider is an even better choice.
  • Select fat-free evaporated milk to make mashed potatoes creamy.
  • Use low-sodium chicken broth to get a little more flavor in your potatoes.
  • Stuffing mixes are holiday classics. Make your own colorful and heart-healthy version by mixing in dried cranberries, raisins and apricots instead of meat.
  • Skip the prepackaged gravy mixes and make your own! Low-sodium broth and skim milk make delicious and more heart-healthy gravy.
  • Avoid pre-packaged pumpkin pies – the crusts are typically filled with transfats and saturated fats. Crustless pumpkin pies or angel food cakes with fresh or frozen berries are tasty alternatives. Skip pre-packaged cakes and cookies, too.

This holiday season, you might want to give the gift of information by sign up for one of their heart-health e-newsletters for yourself or for a friend. Every edition is packed with reliable, science-based news, tips and tools about managing your condition and improving your heart (and overall) health. And you’ll get a new recipe every month! Their e-newsletters cover caregivers, heart attack, arrhythmia, cholesterol, heart failure, high blood pressure and peripheral artery disease. Visit americanheart.org/myheartnews to sign up and send a gift to a friend.