School of Public Health expert offers tips for healthier holiday eating
- Thanksgiving kicks off a season of high-calorie eating that many people have a difficult time negotiating.
- School of Public Health professor Lisa Harnack has tips to help people curb calories and stay healthier this holiday season.
- The University of Minnesota School of Public Health’s Nutrition Coordinating Center has created a helpful guide to show the calorie counts of the top Thanksgiving foods, and the type of exercise equivalent needed to help burn those calories.
“A wonderful variety of great tasting foods is one of the highlights of holiday gatherings. So, take advantage without over indulging by exerting portion control. With a dab of this and a dab of that you can keep on the right track.” -- Lisa Harnack, director, the Nutrition Coordinating Center.
For many people, Thanksgiving is the start of a food tsunami that extends through New Year’s Eve.
It’s tempting to cast care aside and indulge over the holidays, but doing so can add up to an ever-expanding waistline.
Experts pulled calorie counts from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health Nutrition Coordinating Center’s database—which catalogs the nutrients of more than 18,000 foods—to look at how quickly calories can add up for top Thanksgiving foods:
University of Minnesota School of Public Health professor Lisa Harnack, who directs the Nutrition Coordinating Center, offers some advice for curbing calories during the holiday season. She says:
Take a little bit of everything but not a whole lot of anything. “A wonderful variety of great tasting foods is one of the highlights of holiday gatherings. So, take advantage without over indulging by exerting portion control. With a dab of this and a dab of that you can keep on the right track.”
Switch to water. “After a drink or two of calorie-laden wine, cider, etc. consider switching to a calorie-free beverage like water, diet soda, coffee, or tea.”
Back away from the table. “Once the meal is done it’s time to push off and do something with family and friends that doesn’t involve eating. Retire to the living room for conversation or pull out a board game. Better yet, stroll around the neighborhood or walk the kids to a nearby park.”