With the holiday season officially starting, we are all prone to stuffing our faces at the Thanksgiving feast. Sure, it’s difficult to resist mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy, turkey, sauce, stuffing, green beans (also in gravy), and who can forget dessert? However, with more calories and fats come a big blow to your self control and health. Let’s look at the unhealthy Thanksgiving foods and how to minimise the damage with some health tips.

1. Rich Dips and Appetizers: The actual appetizers may be healthy, but they are usually drowned in mayonnaise, cream cheese or sour cream dips. These heavy dips are high in saturated fat and can affect your cholesterol levels. A good way to stay on track with your usual healthy diet is to skip appetizers altogether; that way, you don’t risk filling up on the fats and you can focus on getting more of the main course.

2. Deep-Fried Anything: Any type of deep-fried meat is unhealthy, but even more so in the case of turkey which tastes equally delicious when roasted, without the extra calories and saturated fat brought on by deep-frying. Also, dark meat with skin is much higher in calories, so choose white meat without skin if you really want to watch what you’re eating.

3. Biscuits and Gravy: This just adds to the calorie and fat count. Especially if the biscuits are store bought, they will most certainly contain a high percentage of hydrogenated fat. Of course, it’s okay to take one or two for a taste, but make sure you don’t go overboard. Pig out on the mashed potatoes and stuffing instead.

4. Gratins and Casseroles: Between the mayo and cream cheese dips and the rich gravy, the presence of gratins will only add insult to injury. No matter what the filling is, the dish is rich in saturated fat because of all the heavy cream, butter and cheese that goes into it. A healthier option would be to roast seasonal root vegetables like squashes with some herbs and olive oil. Similarly, green bean casseroles would be much healthier if the green beans and mushrooms were lightly roasted and served with a dab of butter.

5. Candied Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are very healthy and naturally sweet without the added sugar, butter and marshmallows. Those extra calories can be avoided by simply having the sweet potato on its own, but if that sounds too bland, try them with some maple syrup as an alternative.

6. Unnecessary Additions: Mashed potatoes are delectable and a must for every
Thanksgiving dinner, perfectly complimenting the turkey and sauce. However, adding things like cream, cheese and bacon will result in making it needlessly heavy and unhealthy. Keep an eye on the extra calories and saturated fat by adding only a little butter and herbs to the mashed potato, and if you keep the skins on while mashing, you’ll get some fiber in there as well.

7. Rich Desserts: Pecan pies and pumpkin cheesecakes sound mouth watering, but they’re also overflowing with excess calories and fats. Pecans may be high in healthy fats, but adding too much to the pie can result in a calorie-loaded dessert. Similarly, pumpkin cheesecake is a super rich dessert and will end your dinner with a ton of calories and fat. If you absolutely cannot avoid a rich dessert, take small slices, and opt for a lighter pumpkin or apple pie if it is available.

It’s natural that you may have a few slip ups during the holiday season, with all the parties and family gatherings pulling all stops. It’s good to indulge yourself a little, but you must find your balance and stick to your limits. The worst thing you want after an amazing meal is to feel sick or be mad at yourself for over-indulging. Try using the above mentioned tips and you can still enjoy yourself without feeling guilty.

Considering a balanced diet? Join the Fibrasina movement today and aim for a healthier tomorrow.

Categories: Blog