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 Consider "Tweaking" Grandma's Beloved Holiday Recipes

December 7, 2011   Contact: Sue Crosson-Knutson   312-334-2311
CHICAGO - Handed down from generation-to-generation, secret family recipes replicate beloved holiday meals. “My grandmother had some of the best recipes,” said Vivienne Halpern, MD, a member of the Society for Vascular Surgery®. “Yet, I know if she were with us today, she would adjust those recipes to provide her family with healthier meals.”

Time-honored recipes are often high in saturated fats from butter, cream, lard, buttermilk, and fatty cuts of meat. In other instances, family favorites feature foods that are fried or sautéed in fat.

“We know that foods affect our overall health,” said Dr. Halpern. “Some foods can clog our veins and arteries. Minor adjustments in cherished 19th or 20th century recipes can result in a healthier vascular system and happier holidays in the future.”

Dr. Halpern suggests adaptations such as:
  • Butter or margarine – replace these ingredients with trans-fat free tub spreads 
  • Milk – avoid whole milk; use skim or low-fat milk 
  • Mayonnaise – use cottage cheese or low-fat yogurt instead
  • Canned soups – use the low-salt canned soups only
  • Breads – select fiber-rich whole grain bread not highly-processed white breads  
  • Cheese – use the real thing in moderation. Avoid the high-sodium processed “cheese foods.” 
Heart arteries that are clogged with fat deposits can result in a heart attack. Clogged leg arteries can lead to amputation. Clogged arteries to the brain can result in a stroke, the fourth leading cause of death in America according to 2010 National Vital Statistics Report.

Last year, 137,000 Americans died from strokes. One of three Americans more than 20 years old has high blood pressure according to 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics. 

“When we gather together at the holidays, we celebrate family traditions,” said Dr. Halpern. “For the benefit of future family traditions, leave the legacy of healthy family recipes to your loved ones.”
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About the Society for Vascular Surgery®
The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for 3,550 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its Web site at®. Follow SVS on Twitter and Facebook.

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