A Recipe for a Healthy Thanksgiving
Turkey… stuffing… mashed potatoes and gravy… All the yummy, delicious food that makes you drool like Homer Simpson! Thanksgiving may have originated as a way for the Pilgrims and Native Americans to bond but throughout the years, it’s transformed into a holiday dedicated to eating. In fact, Americans consume an average of 4,500 calories every Thanksgiving!
To help you keep those calories down (and your pants button from popping off!), here are a few Eat This, Not That food items brought to you by the Weight Management Center at Stormont Vail Health.
EAT THIS: SKINLESS LIGHT TURKEY
Zero carbs, low calorie and packed with protein, skinless white meat turkey is definitely a power food! White meat is rich in protein and an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, especially B vitamins.
NOT THIS: DARK MEAT WITH SKIN
While dark meat turkey also serves as a good source of protein and delivers more iron than white meat (11% daily value, compared to 7% in white meat turkey breast), it contains more calories and the skin adds more saturated fat.
EAT THIS: MASHED POTATOES
This may sound surprising but mashed potatoes fixed with low-fat milk and light butter actually provides a variety of nutrients, including carbs, fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. In addition, white potatoes are high in potassium. Just remember portion control!
NOT THIS: SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE
Sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants and packed with Vitamin A, but they lose their nutritional value when they’re covered in butter, brown sugar and marshmallows.
EAT THIS: PUMPKIN PIE
Pumpkin is high in potassium and is loaded with Vitamin A. While it may lose some of its healthiness when baked with some not-so-healthy ingredients – shortening, flour, brown sugar, salt – pumpkin pie is still king of Thanksgiving desserts.
NOT THIS: APPLE PIE
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but add in 62 grams of sugar and 19 grams of fat and you may not want to keep them away! Apples alone may be nutritious but make no mistake, apple pie’s buttered crust and sugary filling make this a dessert you should avoid.
In addition to choosing healthier food options, you can save calories by swapping ingredients. Experiment with using applesauce instead of butter and oil, low-fat milk or fat-free milk instead of cream or whole wheat/white flour mix instead of white flour only.
Furthermore, remember that moderation is key for a healthy Thanksgiving. Even the healthiest of foods can become harmful when overindulged. Use a smaller plate and stop eating when you feel full. By opting for healthier food options and practicing portion control, you can ensure your Thanksgiving is all gravy… that is to say, your Thanksgiving is all good!
For more information about weight management, visit our Weight Management Center webpage today!