On March 17, many commemorate St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, by
wearing green and decorating with shamrocks. There are many traditional
foods and drinks that accompany a St. Patrick's Day celebration. Some
foods and drinks are healthier than others; knowing a few facts about
each may help you make the most nutritious eating and drinking decisions
on St. Patrick's Day.
Eat Corned Beef in Moderation
One of the most common meals eaten on St. Patrick's Day is corned beef.
While a small 3-oz. portion of corned beef will supply about 15 g of protein,
as well as some iron and zinc, this meal can also be quite high in fat
an salt. One 3-oz. portion of corned beef contains a little over 16 g
of fat and 964 mg of sodium. If you choose to enjoy corned beef as part
of your St. Patrick's Day celebration, stick to one serving so you
do not eat more fat and salt than what is part of a nutritious meal.
Load Your Plate with Cabbage
Cabbage almost always accompanies corned beef as part of a traditional
St. Patrick's Day meal. Eating plenty of vegetables is a nutritious
way to maintain your health, and loading up on the cabbage will provide
you with many important nutrients. A half cup of cooked cabbage has only
17 calories and less than 1 g of fat. The same serving of cabbage supplies
1.4 g of fiber and 147 mg of potassium. Cabbage also contains calcium,
magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin K.
Drink In Moderation
Alcohol has a starring role in many St. Patrick's Day celebrations,
and can be enjoyed as part of a nutritious diet as long as you stop after
one drink if you are female or two drinks if you are male. Moderate amounts
of alcohol may actually benefit your health, but drinking too much alcohol
can lead to many health problems, including heart damage. One drink is
equal to 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine or 1.5 oz. of spirits like whiskey
or rum. Drink plenty of water with your alcohol as well.