Red and green are traditional colors used to celebrate many festivals around the world, including Christmas. Green is the color of nature. It is also perceived to be a balancer of the heart and emotions. It is a color of spring and renews and restores depleted energy. It is also the color that signifies “go” in traffic lights. Green can also help us celebrate the holidays in a healthy way when we plan more dishes with green, leafy vegetables. Whether you are joining a party or cooking at home, plan to start your meal right by choosing a healthy appetizer. Two good choices include a leafy, green vegetable salad or another vegetable dish that is low in fat, salt, and sugar. Consider green, leafy vegetables a green light to eat as much as you would like, unless you have certain health conditions that limit your intake. All green leafy vegetables contain the common magical nutrient “fiber” to help you control your weight and prevent diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and much more.
Similarly red is almost universally accepted as the color of “Stop”. Research has shown that people tend to eat less when they are eating off of a red plate. If you are a party host, use this to your advantage and plan a small red plate for dessert. If you happen to be a party guest, before you reach out for dessert imagine a red traffic signal and hopefully it will remind you to stop before indulging too much. We are going to try this plan ourselves and hope that you will too! Let us know how it goes.
Happy and Healthy Holidays!
Shraddha Chaubey MS,RDN,CD
Clarissa DeGan, BS, Nutrition Sciences