AMID festive preparations and spirited celebrations as the New Year’s countdown ticks down to welcome 2024, a call for a healthier approach to feasting has emerged.
Dr. Parolita Mission, program coordinator of the National Nutrition Council in Central Visayas, advocates for a health-conscious approach to Media Noche or New Year’s Eve celebrations, embracing guilt-free feasts by choosing healthier options when preparing dishes.
“Enjoy your New Year festivities without increasing your weight and continue to maintain a healthy body,” she told SunStar Cebu on Saturday, Dec. 30, 2023.
Mission urged the public to view the New Year countdown as a healthy start to the year, not just a festive moment.
For those seeking practical guidance, Mission recommended starting the New Year’s Eve feast with vegetable salads and incorporating fresh fruits into desserts.
She advocated for main dishes featuring high-protein foods like chicken, fish and beef, providing essential nutrients for the body’s growth and repair.
Mission emphasized the cornerstone principle of moderation, acknowledging the inevitability of attending multiple New Year gatherings.
She advised revelers to be mindful of their food intake and consider daily nutritional requirements, ensuring a balanced approach to festive meals.
“Moderation is key. It cannot be avoided to attend many parties this season because we have a lot of social groups. The case is, you just have to have moderation in your intake and remember your nutrient requirements for the whole day,” she said.
She suggested strategic decisions, such as skipping unnecessary snacks and opting for smaller portions during Media Noche. She mentioned that this approach ensured eaters could enjoy the celebration without compromising their health.
Mission introduced the principle of balance as a recipe for well-rounded nutrition during New Year’s Eve celebrations, emphasizing the importance of varied food representation and encouraging individuals to diversify their plates, avoiding an over-emphasis on a single food group.
Avoid carbonated drinks
Mission recommended avoiding carbonated drinks and opting for fresh fruit juices instead. This simple switch not only adds a burst of natural flavors to the celebration but also contributes to a healthier overall dining experience.
Mission emphasized the positive effects of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, including improved digestion, enhanced immunity and sustained energy levels. She said adopting a balanced diet during festive occasions contributed to the prevention of lifestyle-related diseases.
By being mindful of nutritional choices during the New Year’s Eve celebration, individuals could take a proactive step toward long-term health and well-being.