Gobble up a healthier Thanksgiving meal

Stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, oh my!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and that means a lot of scrumptious food to eat. Be cautious however, as many common Thanksgiving meals can be high in fat and calories. Here we share ways to make your dinner, or lunch, as healthy as it can be.

Let’s start with probably the most important thing on the table – the turkey. Turkey is a great source of lean protein. Do you roast, fry or brine your turkey? Roasting is the healthier way to prepare the bird. We suggest choosing the white meat and avoiding the skin to reduce your fat consumption. If white meat is not your thing, go ahead and eat the dark meat, but think about mixing it up. Choose some white meat, too, along with the dark.

Now if ham is your main course, it’s a lean meat as well but it is higher in sodium. A 3-ounce serving of ham provides 139 calories whereas the same amount of turkey contains about 125 calories.1

Now for the gravy! It just makes everything taste better. Packaged gravy and sometimes the homemade kind can be packed with fat and calories. Instead of butter, substitute low-sodium stock or broth. Or think about making a yogurt-based gravy with added spices.

Sweet potatoes and squash are healthy sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Topping them with marshmallows is delicious, but if you want to make them healthier, try cooking them with orange juice and sprinkles of brown sugar. Or, roast them and add carrots to the mix.

Green bean casserole is one of my favorites, especially when topped off with crispy fried onions. For a healthier alternative, steam the green beans and add slivered almonds. It’s just as tasty.

Mashed potatoes can be made healthier by replacing cream or whole milk with low-fat buttermilk or low-sodium chicken broth.

Cranberries are packed with antioxidants that can support overall wellness. Avoid the canned variety since it can be loaded with sugar. Mashing cranberries yourself is easy or boil them in water until they pop. Try adding some apple juice for a tasty treat.

Pumpkin is rich in potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C, and low in fat. Pumpkin pie on the other hand can be fattening. To make it less so, use half the amount of sugar, fat-free milk, and light or fat-free whipped topping.

Mmm, the stuffing! When making your own, be sure to make room for more vegetables, onions, celery, cranberries, etc., and less bread. You can also add Mila to the mix for a healthy kick.

As for the drinks, 8 ounces of sparkling cider has 114 calories while a 5-ounce glass of wine has 125 calories. An 8-ounce glass of eggnog contains 224 calories and 59 calories of saturated fat.2  Pour a glass of GoYin balancing blend and say “Cheers” to Whole Health.

After all is said and eaten, suggest taking a refreshing walk around the neighborhood  instead of heading for the couch. Walking just one mile can burn up to 100 calories. Then just maybe you can have one more piece of pie when you return!

Happy Thanksgiving!

1http://livehealthy.chron.com/weight-loss-foods-ham-vs-turkey-2672.html

2https://www.seattletimes.com/life/thanksgiving-calories/

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