WELL BEING: Tips for a healthier Thanksgiving

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Did you know that the average American consumes more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat during a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner? Don’t take my word for it—this is according to the Calorie Control Council. Yikes! Good Grief!  and Holy Smokes Batman!

It’s very possible that Thanksgiving Dinner for you has become another occasion, another justification, for overeating. And you’re certainly not alone! But perhaps, as you look ahead to this holiday, you will consider some suggestions for pushing back against what is almost inevitable...overindulgence. Here are some ideas for the cooks. Recreate them to come up with some very tasty and healthier choices for you and your peeps around your festive table.

In this regard, we thank freelance writer Beth Ornstein, who published these tips in Everyday Health:


1. Skip the candied yams; eat roasted sweet potatoes instead. Candied yams have 215 calories per half-cup, try oven-roasted sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving and other meals. A 3/4 cup serving of sweet potatoes, brushed with a little heart-healthy canola or olive oil, is only 100 calories.

2. Instead of mashed potatoes, do 1/2 mashed potatoes and 1/2 mashed carrots.

3. Skip the store-bought stuffing—there’s enough salt to choke a horse in those packages! Make your own and use juices from simmering the giblets.

4. Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and to make gravy. Swanson is one such brand.
5. Use sugar substitutes in place of sugar and/or fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods.

6. Substitute plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.

7. Ask your friends for healthier ideas they have successfully tried out. This is also where social media can be a real resource for alternative recipes.

8. Here is a Huffington Post article with lots of full recipe choices:

9. And for you vegetarians out there, try this Greatist post of recipe choices and ideas: https://greatist.com/health/vegetarian-main-dishes-for-thanksgiving