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My family has left milk and cookies out for Santa since my boys were infants. It’s a tradition I got from my parents. For those of us that do it, a worldwide community, we do it because we love Santa and Christmas. It is just accepted that Santa works hard and deserves a treat. And so we all leave cookies. Santa is a heavy man. I can’t say for certain that it’s because of the cookies alone, or if the cookies only help to contribute and maintain the situation. I can say that cookies might not be the best choice for what to leave Santa.
Mrs.Claus apparently agrees. Recently the iconic woman launched a campaign asking we the people of the US to have a heart-healthier holiday by being more mindful of the food we put out for Santa on Christmas Eve. She is doing this because she is concerned – for Santa and for us as people. She doesn’t expect us to do this alone. Mrs. Claus is going to work on instituting a healthier lifestyle up at the North Pole, and she’ll be working hard to increase awareness of nutrition’s role in heart health.
Why? Here’s why. More cardiac deaths occur on Christmas Day than any other day of the year. I didn’t know that. I did know that heart disease is currently the number one cause of death here in the US, with over 380,000 people dying from it every year. More than 25 percent of the U.S. population is living with heart disease, and researchers at The University of California, San Diego, and Tufts University School of Medicine have found the prevalence of heart attacks increases by 5 percent over the holiday season.
“It saddened Santa and me to learn that not only are 80 million Americans living with heart disease, but also that the number of heart attacks increases over the holidays,” said Mrs. Claus. “Santa and I want to set a better example when it comes to nutrition, so we’re making our grocery list and checking it twice to focus on heart healthy foods
and dietary habits, and we’d like to invite families across the U.S. to join.”
The Claus’ journey is partly inspired by Oklahoma City’s commitment to losing 1 million collective pounds. After reading about the city’s continued health goals, Mrs. Claus took out a full-page advertisement in The Oklahoman to praise the city’s residents and share her plan to change the Claus family’s health habits. Wanting to try to pay the inspiration forward, Mrs. Claus made a rare public appearance via video message from the North Pole, appealing to families to swap out Santa’s oatmeal raisin cookies for just raisins and chocolate chip cookies for dark chocolate.
Under 1% of adults meet the American Medical Association’s definition of the “ideal healthy diet.” 56 out of 100is the average national score on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of Essential Vitamin Intake. We need to do better. All of us. One of the things we can do to try and improve our heart health is to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy, lean proteins including plant-based protein. A great start to this is watching the labels on the foods we buy. It is well know that the society here is always on the go, often making poor choices because of the schedule demands we place on ourself. Another thing we can do is pack fortified foods and nutrition supplements, including multivitamin and fish oil for those times we are on the go.
Mrs. Claus has created www.clausnutrition.com to house all of her nutrition tips and exclusive interviews with nutrition and health experts. The site will be updated throughout December to help Americans have a happy, healthy holiday season.
For more information, including additional facts about essential nutrients for heart health like omega-3s, beta-glucan and vitamins D, and E, visit Mrs. Claus’ trusted source, www.vitaminsinmotion.com.