A Heart Healthy Christmas
by Theresa Nybo
Christmas is the time for a little extra indulgence – right? I think we all think that way. It’s a special time with a lot of extra yummy, fatty food around. But then the new year comes with all the good resolutions to do better and we don’t worry too much about the effects of Christmas splurging. However, the extra fatty foods can bring some direct health consequences. In a study from Copenhagen University, cholesterol values among participants were found to be higher after the Christmas holidays – up to 20 percent higher – than during the summer months! This can be the result of all that yummy, fatty food we enjoy, like butter, cream and other animal products. So, the consequences may be more than just a few extra kilos, they may be putting our heart health at risk. High cholesterol levels, especially LDL cholesterol, are associated with heart disease and heart attacks. Why not consider a more heart friendly approach this Christmas by choosing cholesterol-free foods: fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains? Prioritize eating vegetable oils, like olive oil, instead of butter or lard. Look for new heart healthier, plant-based alternatives to old fatty favorites. Then still enjoy a merry Christmas and a healthy heart, too!
Vedel-Krogh, S., Kobylecki, C. J., Nordestgaard, B., G. and Langsted, A. (2019) The Christmas holidays are immediately followed by a period of hypercholesterolemia. Atherosclerosis. Vol. 281, p. 121 – 127. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2018.12.011