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How to Eat Healthier Over the Holidays

Given that food and drink go hand in hand with celebrations, it's difficult to know how to eat healthier during the holidays. But if you’re hosting a party or preparing meals, one of your jobs is to make sure your guests don't leave suffering from unwanted aftereffects, such as feeling stuffed on rich goodies—or worse, feeling sick.

The secret to better morning-afters is to make smart choices when planning and prepping the food you serve. Here, experts show you how to eat healthier over the holidays.

Make the Right Grocery Buys

Serving a delicious, healthy holiday meal begins at the grocery store, but the choices can be confusing. The trick is to know which food labels are meaningful.

Look for meat labels that matter. Whether your menu calls for turkey, beef, or pork, consider buying meat that’s organic or raised without antibiotics. Experts (including 90 percent of the doctors surveyed in a Consumer Reports poll) are concerned about using antibiotics for disease prevention or growth promotion in animals because it contributes to antibiotic resistance. (The World Health Organization recently said farmers should end the practice.) Organic meat also means using only organic feed and no growth hormones.

Pick the best produce. Organic? Conventional? Local? The right choices will be based on availability and your personal preferences, concerns for the environment, and budget.

Local produce can be healthier; nutrients may degrade if the trip to the store takes too long. Even in colder parts of the country, locally grown apples, sweet potatoes, and winter squash are available during the holiday season. Organic produce is grown without the use of most pesticides or chemical fertilizers and isn't genetically engineered. Read On.

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