Fes­tive food guide

CityPress - - News - ZINHLE MAPUMULO zinhle.mapumulo@city­press.co.za

The fes­tive hol­i­days are of­ten all about in­dul­gence – from eat­ing more than your stom­ach can han­dle to drink­ing too much and trav­el­ling long dis­tances.

To help you avoid overindulging, City Press has put to­gether some tips to help sur­vive the silly sea­son.

Christ­mas is one of the days on which peo­ple over­cater, says di­eti­cian Dr Lynn Oden­daal. “Cook­ing masses of food means overeat­ing, and overeat­ing leads to weight gain and gives rise to life­style dis­eases.”

Oden­daal says a Christ­mas lunch or din­ner doesn’t have to be “a royal feast” where there is an abun­dance of ev­ery­thing. “A bal­anced meal that con­tains a starch, pro­tein, plenty of veg­eta­bles and low-sugar desserts can be just as good, as well as fill­ing,” she says.

She also cau­tions against hav­ing a va­ri­ety of the same food groups, es­pe­cially starchy foods, which are high in car­bo­hy­drates.

“If you must have starch, limit your choice to two and watch your por­tion size. Since it’s Christ­mas and ev­ery­body is in the mood to eat just about any­thing, a small por­tion of rice and two or three small roast pota­toes wouldn’t be bad,” Oden­daal says.

Food con­sul­tant Heleen Meyer shares Oden­daal’s sen­ti­ments, say­ing that al­though car­bo­hy­drates are our main source of en­ergy, “eat­ing too much of them can cause weight gain and life­style dis­eases”.

She says it is essen­tial that we man­age and con­trol the por­tions of food we eat. She rec­om­mends di­vid­ing the food into starches, veg­eta­bles, pro­teins and fats. “Non-starchy veg­eta­bles or salad should fill about half of the plate, and meat and starch should be about the size of your fist – or take up one quar­ter of the plate.”

If you plan to have a meal that will in­clude some­thing sweet, re­mem­ber to have it af­ter the main meal. If the dessert is high in carbs, you need to con­sider hav­ing a no-carb or low-carb main meal, Meyer says.

You’ll re­gret it if you overindulge dur­ing the hol­i­days

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