Our guide to keeping healthy over the Christmas period
We are heading into that ‘most wonderful time of the year’, if you recall the famous Christmas song. And there is reason to celebrate surviving and farewelling a year that has been hard for most of us.
But Christmas and the New Year season are notorious for overindulgence in Australia. So—before you stuff your stocking full of chocolate and other goodies—digest our top tips for a healthy Christmas.
Please be assured that there is no need to feel guilty about having treats on Christmas Day. It is only one day, and you can always make some healthier choices throughout the rest of the silly season.
But, if you’re up for a little bit of moderation for the sake of your health, here are some tips for food and drink.
Food poisoning cases increase during summertime. And the biggest risks with the backyard BBQ are:
Raw or undercooked meat can contain germs such as salmonella, E. coli, campylobacter and listeria, which can cause food poisoning.
You can kill these germs by cooking meat until it is thoroughly heated. Make sure you keep raw meat separate from cooked meat (e.g. use different plates/tongs/containers).
It’s also important to keep some foods cool to prevent germs from multiplying. Foods to keep cool include:
Alcohol-related illnesses and injuries spike over Christmas time, so it’s wise to keep a handle on your alcohol consumption. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) now advise that it’s safest to limit your intake to:
You can try alternating alcoholic drinks with water or diet soft drinks. This can keep you hydrated and reduce your risk of drinking too much.
There is often a surge in hospital presentations over Christmas and New Year. Most often these relate to:
It’s important not to neglect your regular GP visits during the summer holidays. And get in touch with a healthcare professional when you’re not feeling well.
‘Forewarned is forearmed’ they say. Knowing the potential risks involved in the Christmas and summer holiday season could help you avoid some of the pitfalls of ‘this most wonderful time of the year’.
Wishing you a safe and happy holiday.