The holidays are just around the corner, and that means celebrations are on the agenda. And with those celebrations comes food. Lots and lots of food.
During this hectic period of events, people tend to fall on one side of the fence or another: some tend to avoid eating at parties altogether, while some let loose completely and vow to remedy any damage done to their waistline after the holidays are over.
On both sides of the spectrum, neither extreme is a particularly good way to go about staying healthy while socialising. Avoiding food at parties altogether could be preoccupying and will limit your experience — which you should be enjoying with friends and family. Alternatively, letting your health fall to the wayside will set you back, and only end up making you feel worse in the long run.
So what’s best then? The best solution to maintaining your health during the silly season is to approach it as you would in any other scenario: With a sense of healthy balance. Feel free to indulge here and there, but keep your health in mind.
To help you do so, we’ve dissected our favourite party dish: The cheese platter. By highlighting the best and worst options, we hope to highlight ways that you can indulge without derailing your health goals.
Breaking Down 7 Items on Your Cheese Platter: Best to Worst
1. Fruit and Veggies
Most cheese platters will have a few raw fruits and veggies on the side, and these are the clear winners when it comes to healthy options. Between slices of bread and brie, try to munch on a carrot every now and then if only to get some veggies in your diet. Keep in mind that some dips might be less than good for you, so try to eat your veggies raw or stick to hummus for added protein.
Chock-full of vitamin E, olives are great for heart health. Keep in mind that olives are quite high in fat, so don’t overdo it.
3. Goat Cheese
Typically less calorie-dense than other cheeses, goat cheese is tangy, delicious, and boasts a few health benefits. With high amounts of protein and healthy fats, goat cheese will satiate your cheese craving — so you’ll eat less overall.
According to The Healthy, mozzarella contains only 70 calories per 30 grams and is your best bet for calcium. Eat it with a few tomatoes, for a Caprese salad-inspired snack.
If you love this holey cheese, you’re in luck. High in protein, two slices will add up to 15 grams, while also providing 44% of your daily calcium intake, according to AOL Lifestyle.
Despite the fact that they taste similar, Swiss cheese is the healthier option here. Though the mild, nutty cheese is undeniably delicious, it contains about 117 calories per 30 grams and 9 grams of fat — not great for your cholesterol levels.
7. Blue Cheese
Compared to other options, blue cheese is high in fat and calories, meaning it will add up a lot more quickly compared to other options.
Now that you know a little more about each option, you’re better prepared to make smart decisions during party season this year. While that’s not to say you should avoid blue cheese outright, it’s good to keep in mind healthier alternatives. By adding some fruit and veg into the mix, you can make yourself a decently healthy meal from a typical party spread. It’s all about knowing your options, and being informed so that you can stay on track — even while socialising.