A Healthy Thanksgiving

Celebrate this Thanksgiving with healthy recipes!

According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat during a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. To avoid overindulging, try to reduce the amount of calories and fat in your appetizers, deserts and main meals by substituting ingredients with healthier options.

For appetizers, instead of passing a tray filled with meat and cheese — which have high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol — choose whole grain crackers, raw vegetables and low-fat dip or hummus. Vegetables like carrots and broccoli are high in fiber and potassium that will help keep you healthy around the holidays. This type of appetizer is also good for people with prediabetes or diabetes.

Baste your turkey with wine or apple juice to avoid using the fatty drippings. It’s not only healthier, but enhances the turkey’s flavor. When carving the bird, choose white meat without skin. To get more fiber in your stuffing use brown rice or whole wheat bread cubes and add in some raisins to balance the texture. Raisins also add additional nutritional value; they have several times more fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than fresh grapes.

When baking desserts, substitute applesauce, Greek yogurt or mashed bananas for oil in cookie or cake recipes. If you’re making a pumpkin pie, use fresh pumpkin; according to the National Cancer Institute pumpkins contain antioxidant beta-carotene, which may play a role in cancer prevention. You can also save and toast the seeds, which help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

See the below recipes for a healthy twist on some classics.
Herb-Roasted Turkey with Calvados Gravy
Green Bean Casserole
Clinic’s Honey Glazed Sweet Potatoes
Basil Cranberry Sauce
Maple Bourbon Pecan Pie

To stay healthy during the holidays, the American Heart Association recommends:

  • If cooking, provide low-fat foods, or ask if you can bring a low-fat dish.
  • Eat lower-fat and reduced-calorie foods for days in advance of the holiday feast, and for days after.
  • Prepare for handling your worst temptations; if you want both pecan and pumpkin pie — take a tiny slice of each, instead of a full serving.
  • After the meal, start a tradition — a holiday walk, for instance.

Also don’t forget to always be safe when cooking and preparing meals. See the CDC’s Holiday Food Safety Tips for ways to stay healthy and safe this holiday season.

In the comment box tell us how you prepare healthy Thanksgiving dishes!

Source: Eating Well, Delish, Mayo Clinic, Greatest, Cooking Light, healthgrades