LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – For many people, November comes with holiday meals, sugary treats and a tendency to overeat.

The American Heart Association has designated November as EAST SMART Month.

The goal of the designation is to get Americans to eat smarter for their heart health.

Dr. Elizabeth Clodas says heart disease is the number one killer of women. It overshadows all types of cancer combined. One in three women will die from heart disease.

“That’s the truth. 80% of heart disease should not exist. This is not a wish. This is a fact,” said Dr. Clodas. “There are communities around the world where people are mostly free of heart disease.”

Here are six tips for incorporating heart-healthy foods into your diet this holiday season:

  1. Stick to a healthy diet as much as possible.
    • According to Dr. Clodas, people who abstain from food to make room for a Turkey Day feast are doing it all wrong.
    • Dr. Clodas suggests eating something light before a meal if you’re hungry.
  2. Consume alcohol.
    • Dr. Clodas personally drinks one alcoholic drink followed by one glass of water.
  3. Learn to say no.
    • You may be offered a variety of foods and treats at Thanksgiving, but you don’t have to eat every single serving of food offered.
  4. Adjust your plate and take smaller portions.
    • Fill your plate with more fruits, vegetables and salads. You may have to change your thinking a bit. Instead of eating meat with vegetables, eat vegetables with meat.
  5. Take time for yourself.
    • Moms are pulled in different directions and tend to put everyone else’s needs before their own, but when you’re healthy, you’re better able to take care of others.
  6. Find ways to relax.
    • The holidays are stressful, and Dr. Klodas says that can lead to poor decisions.

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