Top 10 heart healthy Christmas tips
It can be tricky to protect your health over
Christmas so we've put together some easy to follow Christmas tips
to give you some food for thought over the holiday season.
Salmon with warm tomato and herb dressing
200g (7 oz) brown basmati rice
4 x 150g (5 1/2 oz) skinless salmon fillets
Freshly ground black pepper
Low-calorie cooking spray (or 1 tsp unsaturated oil)
4 vine-ripened tomatoes
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1-2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp tarragon or 1 tbsp basil, chopped
3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
100g (3 1/2 oz) rocket, watercress or baby spinach
1. Cook rice per packet instructions. Pre-heat the grill. Season the salmon with black pepper, and grill on a tray lined with foil for 4-7 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. To skin the tomatoes, make a cross on the stalk end with a sharp knife. Place into a bowl and cover with boiling water. After 3-4 minutes place into a bowl of chilled water. Drain and slip the skins off, quarter and de-seed. Finely chop.
2. Mist a non-stick pan with cooking spray (or heat oil) and lightly fry the shallot until just golden, add the garlic, cook for a minute more then stir in the tomato, their juices, the vinegar, herbs and extra oil to make a warm dressing. Add a dash more vinegar to suit your taste.
3. Serve the salmon on a handful of greens with the rice and the dressing spooned over.
1. Be a quitter
Give up smoking and help your heart. Before Christmas, and New
Year are good times to do this and with all the expense of
Christmas, it's easier on your pocket too. Get tips, advice and
support in our quit
2. Get your dancing shoes on
Keep active during the festive season and help work off the
extra calories. Try going for a brisk walk at lunchtime or why not
have some fun and dance away the calories at the Christmas party!
Get out more ideas in our staying
3. Go low
It can be difficult to avoid high-fat food choices at this time
of year, but there are some healthier options you can include on
the buffet table if you’re entertaining.
Healthy examples include vegetable sticks with low fat yoghurt
or tomato based dips and sandwiches with lower fat fillings, like
sliced egg and tomato or low fat spreadable cheese with roasted
vegetables. Find out more in our healthy
4. Cut down on salt
The recommended maximum amount of salt per day for adults is 6g
(or about 1 teaspoon). So go easy with the crisps, salted nuts and
It’s also worth getting into the habit of reading the food
labels, such as those on pre-prepared party foods, to help you
choose the healthiest options. See our salt section for more information.
5. Eat fruit
Fruit makes a great snack which can be eaten anytime of the day.
Don’t head off to the work party hungry, as you are likely to be
tempted by the less healthy options and may find you eat more than
you normally would.
Instead, have a healthy snack beforehand such as an apple or a
pear, low fat yogurt with dried fruit or a fruit smoothie which
will take the edge off your hunger and helping you to make
6. Festive cheer
Keep within sensible alcohol limits which is no more than
3-4 units a day for men and no more than 2-3 units a
day for women. Try alternating alcoholic drinks with
water or pure, unsweetened fruit juice.
Find out more about alcohol and heart
disease, and if you're recovering from a heart operation
or on heart medication, check with your doctor.
7. Something fishy
Oily fish like mackerel and salmon is an excellent source of
omega 3 fatty acids, which can help protect against heart disease.
Salmon makes a special Boxing Day meal that offers a lighter choice
after the other Christmas food and can be eaten hot or cold.
8. Chill out
The build up to Christmas can be stressful and it can cause us
to slip back into unhealthy behaviours, such as smoking and
So take time out to relax, spend some time with friends, or go
for a stroll in the park and help reach your 30 a day physical
activity target at the same time.
9. Keep warm
Read our top tips for dealing with the cold weather when you have a heart
10. Reach out
Why not join our online community -
share your stories, get advice and meet people in similar