Healthy Eating Around the Holidays

October 25, 2017

With the holidays fast approaching, tempting foods start to make their appearance. Between potlucks at work and family get-togethers at home, it’s important to be mindful when it comes to eating yummy yet unhealthy foods.

According to the American Heart Association, about 18 percent of people say it’s hard for them to eat healthy because they don’t want to stop eating their favorite foods around the holidays. The great news is that you don’t have to! You can still enjoy your favorite holiday foods, in moderation.

Here are five friendly reminders to ensure you maintain your weight throughout the holidays:

  • Portion control: During the holidays, it’s easy to want to binge on all of your favorite foods and desserts, but try to eat smaller, less frequent portions. This way, you’re not depriving yourself and you can still enjoy the holiday festivities.
     
  • Avoid excessive alcohol: Calories from alcohol add up fast – the average beer has 140 calories and a 5-ounce glass of wine has 100 calories. Too many alcoholic beverages can also lower your instincts and make you likely to snack. Stick to one or two drinks or offer to be the designated driver, so you won’t feel inclined to drink all of your calories.
     
  • Slow down: Try to enjoy each bite. Put your fork down while chewing and drink some water between each bite. This will give your body enough time to alert your brain that you’re getting full.
     
  • Use Technology: With electronic devices being more popular than ever, there are plenty of free apps that count calories, help you track what you eat and even provide guidance on healthy food choices. Apps such as MyFitnessPal or MyPlate Calorie Tracker are great for helping you manage your diet through the holiday season.
     
  • Pay attention: Don’t eat while you’re watching your favorite show or sitting at the computer. It’s not even a good idea to eat while you’re in the kitchen or talking on the phone. When you eat while distracted, you’re more likely to lose track of how much you’ve consumed.

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Happy Holidays: Eat, Drink, and Stay Healthy

November 01, 2016

This is the great time of the year when friends and families get together to celebrate the holidays. The downside is that all these fun gatherings can turn into extra calories and less time to exercise – but that doesn’t mean skipping the festivities. 

Here are some tips on how to enjoy the season without letting a good health suffer.

 

 Going Easy On . . . 

 

  • Sugar: Apple cider and eggnog? These beverages often contain a ton of sugar –
    especially when alcohol is added. It’s okay to enjoy these in moderation, making sure to have a glass of water in between every drink.
  • Dairy: It’s not a party if there’s no dessert. But the key to maintaining healthy is  keeping the servings small and not going back for seconds. Skipping the whipped cream or ice cream, which often accompany the slice of pie, also helps.  
  • Red Meat: Opting for lean cuts or skipping it entirely, and sticking with fish or skinless chicken, are great options. So is eating twice as many vegetables as meat. Also, baking, grilling, or steaming food are healthier options than frying.  
  • Saturated Fat: Moderation is key. A quick example – for any dish – is cutting down on the butter. In general, using olive oil instead of butter adds some healthy unsaturated fats to the food. For flavor, fresh herbs and spices are good alternatives. For baking, Greek yogurt, banana, or equal parts unsweetened applesauce can substitute butter. 

Being realistic is also important. Here’s a morsel of advice to keep in mind:

  • Trying to maintain the current weight is better than worrying about shedding a few pounds over the holidays.  
  • A full calendar shouldn’t get in the way of exercise. Walking for 10-15 minutes, twice a day, helps maintaining good health through the season. 
  • Arriving at a party too hungry is a bad idea. So when going to a celebration, it’s important to make healthier choices the rest of the day. 
  • The key is eating to get satisfied – not stuffed. After eating, and giving it some time to settle, going back for seconds is okay. 
  • Bringing an appetizer, a main dish,  or dessert to the celebration can help keeping control of the situation. Healthier recipes for traditional favorites is just an Internet search away. 

 

Brush Up on Your Family’s Oral Health!

February 01, 2017

A good smile can brighten anyone’s day, which is why it’s important to make sure your children feel good about flashing their toothy grins. The American Dental Association (ADA) sponsors February as National Children’s Dental Health Month to help raise awareness about the importance of oral health, and here at AltaMed, we couldn’t agree more with their mission. 

It’s key to help your child develop a positive attitude towards dental care so that they maintain good habits through adulthood. With this year’s theme of “Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile,” the ADA is drawing attention to the fact that the water that comes out of your home’s faucet has fluoride that strengthens teeth and helps prevent cavities. Best of all, it’s free!

Beyond brushing with tap water, making sure you and your family drink plenty of water is also an important part of maintaining oral health. By avoiding sugary drinks like soda and sweetened juices, you can help prevent tooth decay, the most common chronic yet preventable disease in children. 

Also follow the 2x2 plan, which means brushing twice a day, after breakfast and before bed, for at least two minutes using toothpaste with fluoride. And don’t forget to floss! Flossing removes food from between the teeth that toothbrushes just can’t reach. 

To help celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month and encourage our young patients to take care of their choppers, on February 10 our dental locations will be giving away fun goodie bags with treats like toothpaste, toothbrushes, finger toothbrushes, dental floss, toothbrush covers, stickers and educational materials. 

Throughout February you’ll also be able to find our Oral Health Unit at the following locations: 

  • February X: AltaMed General Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  • February X: AltaMed Medical Group – Orange
  • February X: AltaMed Medical and Dental Group – Santa Ana, Main
  • February X: AltaMed Medical Group – Commerce
  • February X: AltaMed Medical Group – Pico Rivera, Slauson
  • February X: AltaMed Medical Group – Garden Grove
  • February X: AltaMed Medical Group – Westlake

Call 877-462-2582 today to make an appointment for your child—oral health affects our overall health, so it’s never too early to get started on proper dental care!