How to Make Heart Healthy Choices When On the Road This Holiday

Lisa Nelson Health Pro
  • Another holiday is just around the corner and while this is a wonderful time to celebrate with family and friends it can interfere with a heart healthy diet. Not only are you faced with a rich holiday meal, but you may also log many hours of travel.

    Here are a few tips for how to make healthy choices when on the road.

    1. Restaurants - Fast Food

    I know when you're traveling you want to get to your destination and time spent for a sit down restaurant meal does not necessarily fit in the plan. That means fast food is a likely stop. However, there are quick options that still provide nutritious fare. Select places like Subway or Quiznos and order sandwiches made on whole grain bread with lean meat and plenty of veggies. Salads are an option at many fast food restaurants, but choose wisely. Avoid salads covered with tortilla chips, fried/breaded meat, and slathered in dressing. If a drive through sandwich is your option, go with a grilled chicken sandwich versus fried.

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    2. Convenience Stores

    I do not recommend relying on convenience stores for your meals; however, if you need a quick snack you may be able to find a piece of fresh fruit, a bag of nuts, or a high fiber granola bar to satisfy your hunger. Steer clear of the candy aisle, fountain drinks, and potato chips.

    3. Travel Snacks

    A small cooler of healthy snacks can save your wallet and keep you on track with heart health choices on the road. Great snack choices include fresh cut fruits/vegetables, string cheese, whole grain crackers, mixed nuts, and mini sandwiches made with whole grain bread peanut butter or lean meat. Don't forget to include a couple ice packs and plenty of water in your cooler.

    4. Continental Breakfasts

    Select a whole grain cereal with low fat milk and a piece of fresh fruit. You could also opt for a yogurt and/or hard boiled egg which provide a good source of protein. When choosing breakfast, avoid sugary muffins and pre-sweetened cereals.

    Eating right on the road isn't always easy, but if you plan ahead it is doable. It is also well worth it. There are consequences to sudden spikes of fat, sodium, and sugar in your diet. For example, a king size candy bar will cause your blood sugar to spike and then plummet. This leaves you feeling a lack of energy and the need for a nap . . . or craving another high sugar snack as a pick me up. Choose wisely!

    Be sure to sign-up for the free e-course 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure by dietitian Lisa Nelson at

Published On: December 16, 2009