Temptations are everywhere this time of year. Parties, dinners with friends and family get in the way of daily routines and make eating healthy during the holidays truly challenging.
It's easy to have your progress derailed when faced with so many stresses and indulgences of the holiday season. Trust me—it happens to all of us from time to time!
If you occasionally splurge a little with holiday eating, it’s not the end of the world. However, you’ll want to make sure you’re giving your gut a little TLC to keep your microbiome balanced. Without support, the holiday eating can wreak havoc on your gut.
Check these these tips that will still allow indulgence, without the havoc!
Alcohol - Alcohol is a toxin. What’s more, alcohol is essentially liquid sugar. Most beer is made from wheat or yeast, which contains gluten. Gluten is a highly inflammatory food and should be avoided by anyone. If you do choose to celebrate with alcohol, stick with a clear liquor such as gluten-free vodka, mixed with soda water. The key is to keep it to just one drink a day for women, and two for men. This is the amount of alcohol that your body can safely process.
Sugar - Consuming sugary foods and beverages leads to increased production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which cause oxidative stress), and spikes levels of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP). Inflammation is at the root of almost every chronic disease, including Type 1 diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Sugar also can alter bacterial communities in your gut, determining what types of bacteria and the amount of each that take up home there. This can affect your weight and cause a whole host of issues related to an imbalance of microflora.
At this time of year, moderation is key when it comes to sugar and alcohol. If you have gut infections such as Candida overgrowth or SIBO, you want to avoid these foods. Remember, sugar and alcohol can feed Candida and make your condition worse. Mocktails are a great substitute for alcoholic drinks during the holidays.
Make Your Own Food - If you’re going to a holiday party and want to eat healthy during the holidays, the best way to do that is make your own food to take with you. There are plenty of recipes online to research ahead of time so you can plan accordingly.
Don't Be Hard On Yourself - Eating healthy during the holidays is challenging. After all, we are only human and the temptations are higher than usual this time of year. Now that you have the tools you need to be successful eating healthy during the holidays, you can stay committed to your health and still enjoy the holiday season!
This article is referenced and sourced from Amy Myers, M.D.
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