Eating smart is good for your heart — especially in the hectic holiday season.

During Eat Smart Month in November, the American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization devoted to a world of longer, healthier lives, will provide 30 days of holiday hacks to inspire simple but important healthy habits. Text DAILYHACK to 51555 to join in.

“It’s easy to get off track from making healthy choices during the holidays, and the pandemic may add to the stress,” said Anne Thorndike, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, director of the Metabolic Syndrome Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and chair of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee.

“Eating healthfully during the holidays doesn’t mean depriving yourself; it’s about eating smart and looking for small, healthy changes and swaps you can make so you continue to feel your best. For example, choosing vegetables instead of crackers or chips at lunch may not seem like much, but those little changes add up over time.”

Eating healthy also doesn’t mean sacrificing taste, said Bridget Wojciak, director of nutrition and dietetics at Kroger Health, a national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for GoodTM program.

“Find the delicious, nutrient-packed foods you love,” Wojciak said. “Not everyone likes broccoli, and that is OK. There are so many varieties of fruits and vegetables to try, and so many healthful ways to prepare them. See what works best for you, and who knows? You may have a new holiday recipe to add to your table.”

Here are four healthy tips for this holiday season:

  1. Spice it up: A great way to reduce sodium is to add more herbs and spices such as rosemary and thyme to flavor meals.
  2. Choose nutritious snacks: To avoid overindulging at holiday meals, prep with satisfying, good mood foods that don’t sacrifice taste. Check out this no-added-sugars recipe for Caramel Kettle Popcorn created by the American Heart Association and Healthy for Good supporter SweetLeaf. It’s perfect for a tasty snack that will keep you feeling full and less tempted by those unhealthy choices.
  3. Shop smart: Grocery shopping during the holidays can be overwhelming. So if you’re looking for heart-healthy options, keep an eye out for the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark on select products.
  4. Mind your mind: This holiday season will probably look different, with more time spent at home. Find moments throughout the season to practice gratitude, meditate and relish the time. Managing stress is good for your head and heart.

For more healthy tips and recipes, visit heart.org/eatsmartmonth.