For many, avoiding winter weight gain is pretty difficult. Colder months often mean skipped gym sessions, binge watching Netflix and poor food choices. Winter weight gain, although conveniently hidden under chunky sweaters, can be risky for our health. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important ways to protect your heart. The below tips will quell those cravings for heavier, unhealthy foods that so often derail us during the winter months.
Although humans don’t actually hibernate in the winter, it is common to eat more and move less. The less we move, the less we need to eat. Be mindful of portioning during these cold winter months!
Focus on Whole Grains
Whole grains are fiber rich, proven to be helpful in reducing cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. Foods high in fiber, such as whole grains, keep you fuller longer, helping to reduce total calorie intake. Examples of whole grain foods include whole wheat bread (look for 100%), oats, rye, brown and wild rice, buckwheat, millet, and farro.
Choose Healthy Fats
When it comes to nutrition, fat is an area that has been surrounded by controversy and confusion. According to the American Heart Association, it’s important to limit our intake of saturated and trans-fats, choosing mono and poly unsaturated fats instead. Examples of saturated fats include animal products such as fatty meats, cream and cheese. Trans-fats include fried foods and baked goods. Healthy, unsaturated fats include nuts, avocados, and olive oil.
Focus on Low-Fat Protein Foods
As mentioned above, many sources of regularly consumed protein are high in saturated fat and can be bad for our hearts. Examples of heart healthy proteins include lean poultry, fish, eggs, beans and other legumes.
Reduce Sodium Intake
Many individuals consume too much sodium. A key way to decrease sodium intake is by eating less processed foods. So, let’s get cooking! Click the links below to check out a few of our favorite fall recipes!