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Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Thanksgiving

Written by
Published in Nov 2005; Updated in Nov 2007

healthy thanksgiving tips dinner(HealthCastle.com) Do you know that the average Thanksgiving dinner has over 2000 calories? It can be a real challenge if you are watching your waistline. The following are some eating tips so that you can still look good and be healthy after the Thanksgiving dinner without having to deprive yourself.

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips for Thanksgiving

If you are a guest of a Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Don't go to the Thanksgiving dinner hungry: we often eat faster and more when we are hungry - therefore eat a wholesome breakfast and lunch on the day to avoid overeating at dinner time.
  • Thanksgiving dinner is not an all-you-can-eat buffet: Fill your plate half with vegetables, one quarter with a lean meat and the rest with a starch of your choice. Eat slowly and stop when you are full.
  • Turkey - go skinless: choose your 4-oz turkey portion skinless to slash away some fat and cholesterol. Save your appetite for the side dishes and desserts.
  • Side Dishes - watch your portion size: go for smaller portions. This way you can sample all the different foods. Moderation is always the key.
  • Make a conscious choice to limit high fat items: high fat food items can be found in fried and creamy dishes as well as cheese-filled casseroles in a traditional Thanksgiving meal . For instance, mashed potatoes are usually made with butter and milk; green bean casseroles are often prepared with cream of mushroom soup, cheese and milk and topped with fried onions; candied yams are loaded with cream, sugar and marshmallows. If you cannot control the ingredients that go in to a dish, simply limit yourself to a smaller helping size. Again moderation is the key.
  • Drink plenty of water: alcohol and coffee can dehydrate your body. Drink calorie-free water to help fill up your stomach and keep you hydrated.

If you are the honorable chef of a Thanksgiving dinner:

  • Substitute high fat ingredients with lower-fat or fat-free ingredients. Learn about the 5 easy steps to recipe substitutions or see table below.
  • Leftover Turkey? Instead of turkey sandwiches, use the leftover turkey to make a pot of soup with fresh chunky vegetables.
  • Experiment with new recipes: we did a search on Google and found numerous delicious yet healthy low-fat contemporary Thanksgiving recipes. Experiment!

Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Substitution Tips

Recipe calls for...
Substitution


1 whole egg

2 egg whites



sour cream

low fat plain yogurt or low fat sour cream



milk

skim or 1% milk



ice cream

frozen yogurt



heavy cream (not for whipping)

1:1 ratio of flour whisked into non fat milk (e.g. 1 cup of flour + 1 cup of non fat milk)



whipped cream

chilled evaporated skim milk or other low fat whipped products such as Nutriwhip

cheese low-fat cheese (please note: non-fat cheese does not melt well if use in cooking or baking)
butter light butter


cream of mushroom

fat-free cream of mushroom


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