Have Your Heart a Merry Little Christmas


Christmas is a time for family and celebrations, but it can also be a time for overindulgence of festive treats and tipples. So, for the big day, we’ve put together some top tips to ensure that you have a happy, heart-healthy Christmas. 

10 million turkeys, 300 million mince pies and 25 million Christmas puddings are eaten in the UK each year over Christmas, so I think it’s fair to say that the healthy diet goes out of the window once we reach December.

Maintaining a healthy diet can help you to reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease and diabetes, by preventing weight gain and high blood pressure.

Smart Snacking

When it comes to Christmas, there’s simply too many festive treats and snacks to choose from. According to Boots WebMD, the average person consumes around 6,000 calories on Christmas day, which is the equivalent to 3 days of a woman’s recommended calorie intake and eating 12 Big Macs!

Baking your Christmas treats instead of buying them will help you to cut back on the calories. Not only will you know the ingredients that are going into your bakes, but it is likely to save you a bit of cash.

It may also be tempting to leave the clementine at the bottom of your stocking, but this festive fruit will go towards your 5-a-day.

The Main Event

This is what you have been waiting for all year! You won’t find many people who will turn down a Christmas dinner. You may already have your turkey ready to stuff and roast on Christmas day, but did you know that the preferred poultry in Medieval times was a goose? It wasn’t until Henry VIII tucked into a turkey on Christmas Day that we followed suit with our traditional Christmas roast.

Luckily for us, turkey is naturally lean meat, which if consumed in moderation, will not pose a risk to your heart. However, the skin of the turkey is where the problem lies, considerably adding to the saturated fat content, so remove this before plating up your turkey dinner.

Now onto the sides…boiling and steaming vegetables, rather than roasting, will help to keep the calories at bay.

Even if you are a hater of brussel sprouts, you can’t deny that these controversial vegetables are packed full of vitamin C; they almost contain 4 times more vitamin C than an orange. So, maybe it’s time to patch things up with sprouts and invite them onto your plate?


A Christmas Tipple

It almost seems wrong not to enjoy a Bailey’s over Christmas, but it is important that you remember your limits. The period between Christmas Eve and New Years Day accounts for some of the highest incidents of binge drinking.

Alcohol can put a huge strain on the heart, in terms of high blood pressure and increasing your risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

In addition to this, many people are unaware of the number of calories in their favourite festive tipples. One pint of lager contains 91 calories and 3g of sugar, one glass of prosecco has 114 calories and 2g of sugar and a 50ml glass of Irish cream liqueur has 175 calories and 10g of sugar (the same as two mince pies).

As long as you stick to the recommended guidelines: 14 units of alcohol each week, preferably spread over 3 or more days for both men and women, then you can still enjoy a heart-healthy Christmas.

Are you ready for the big day? Let us know how you plan to celebrate a heart-healthy Christmas by tweeting us @defibshop_ie.

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