Holiday Tips and Substitutions to Promote Heart Health

The holidays are filled with family, friends and, of course – great food! This year, be mindful of what you put on your plate. Though the comfort food of the holiday season satisfies our bellies, sometimes it can take a toll on our hearts and arteries. We have a few tips and substitutions to promote heart health without sacrificing flavor.


Snacking before the main course is a tradition in most households! Who doesn’t love appetizers? This year, don’t mix your favorite dip seasoning with full-fat sour cream, use Greek yogurt instead! Greek yogurt is lower in fat and calories, plus it still packs in robust flavor.

Nuts are also a healthier option for an appetizer; however, remember that some nuts are high in calories so limit your intake accordingly. Heart-friendly choices include unsalted or lightly salted almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts

Side Dishes

Ditch the candid yams and bake sweet potatoes instead! Sweet potatoes are packed with essential vitamins such as B-6 and are also high in fiber. Roast them with a little maple syrup or add a brush olive oil on top to complete a savory dish.

Who knew that eating healthy could be so delicious? Roasted Brussels sprouts have a satisfying crunch and provide plenty of zest. Brussels sprouts are filled with fiber to keep you full and also contain a fair amount of Vitamin C! To spice up sprouts for the holidays, dust them with brown sugar and a pinch of salt.

Main Course

If eating turkey is a holiday tradition in your family, you don’t have to give it up! Dark turkey meat has about twice the fat of turkey breast and about 40 percent more calories. Stick to the light meat to slash calories and saturated fat!

Start a new holiday food tradition and add salmon to the menu! Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that can lower your risk of heart disease. Add pesto or bake in honey to add extra flavor.
Be mindful this holiday season and decorate your plate wisely. Keeping your heart healthy doesn’t mean that you have to give up all of your favorite dishes, just remember to stick to appropriate portion sizes and make smart substitutions.

At Advanced Vascular we take heart health seriously. Heart conditions can lead to many other serious health issues that can severely impact your life. If you are having issues with your vascular health, give us a call today at 269-492-6500.