The holiday season is a time for family gatherings, delicious food and extended vacations. While the holidays are certainly the most wonderful time of the year, there’s no denying that the temptation to make unhealthy food choices is more difficult than ever, especially at holiday parties. West Florida Vein Center says that it is important for vascular health to try to limit the intake of foods that are high in sodium, and refined sugars and grains, which can be found in many common holiday treats.

The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women offers five great tips for navigating the holiday-party season while keeping your vascular health in mind:

  1. Plate your food Skip the hors d’oeuvres and use your small appetizer plate for your main course. This way, you’ll know exactly how much food you’re eating.
  1. Mix it up Don’t be shy! Snag multiple types of food from the food bar. Just be sure to make veggies, lean proteins and whole grains the star of the show.
  1. Watch your portions Do your best to make note of the serving sizes, and be sure to only grab what you know you’ll eat.
  1. Hydrate – Drink plenty of water before going back for seconds. This will help you stay hydrated and fill you up.
  1. Moderation is key Be mindful of what you’re eating. It’s okay to treat yourself during the holidays – just do so in moderation.

We hope you use these five tips to keep your health goals within reach throughout the holiday season.