Managing Your Cholesterol During the Holidays

by Yumhee Park Content Producer

When the holidays hit, it can be difficult to manage your cholesterol. But the foods you eat and the exercise you don't do can wreak havoc on your cholesterol. Here are some tips on managing it during those times when it can be most difficult.

Family eating a holiday meal.
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Be a picky eater

High-fat and high-cholesterol foods are served in excess during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you have to succumb to those choices. Be a picky eater and load up your plate with more veggies than high sodium hams or turkeys. While it may be tempting to go for comfort foods during the winter, don’t underestimate the amount of comfort that roasted veggies can provide. And remember to avoid foods with trans-fats as these are the worst foods to eat for your cholesterol levels.

Serving food at the dinner table.
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Have someone keep you accountable

Being surrounded by tempting foods while spending hours of lounging on the couch can be a bad combination if you are suffering from high cholesterol. One of the best ways to keep laziness and gluttony at bay is to have someone to keep you accountable and help you to avoid bad habits.

Family holiday football game.
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Plan outdoor activities

Fight food coma before it happens and plan outdoor activities before you eat! This can include taking the dogs out for a walk at a nearby park, making shoveling snow a family effort, or strolling around a new museum or holiday exhibit. Being active after holiday meals can aid digestion and keep you off the couch.

Meditation
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Take time to de-stress

Being with family doesn’t always mean relaxing times. Preparing meals for families, in-laws, and more as well as anticipating potentially awkward situations can all contribute to stress. Be sure to take some time to de-stress, even if it means stepping out for a moment and meditating. Stress is a well-known trigger for poor eating habits.

Pouring pills out of a bottle.
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Stick to your medication schedule

Having high cholesterol can put you at risk for many other conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. If you are living with multiple conditions, including high cholesterol, managing your medications can be a hassle. Be sure to stick to your medication schedule. Get a pill box to help organize your medication properly, or set alarms to remind you. Make sure to also pay attention to your alcohol consumption since alcohol can increase the side effects and risks of certain medications.

Yumhee Park
Meet Our Writer
Yumhee Park

Yumhee Park is a former content producer for HealthCentral and helped bring important stories of health advocates to life as a member of the Live Bold, Live Now multimedia team.