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Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Eating healthy on Thanksgiving Day with these 7 Holiday Foods

It’s Thanksgiving time! That means gatherings with family, great friends and, of course, lots of events with food. There are two types of dieters around Thanksgiving according to Clutch Mag: the ones who throw caution to the wind, eat all they want and resume working out and eating right on January 1st. Then there are the ones who cling to a strict diet and turn down everything from cranberry sauce to pumpkin pie. You can manage healthy eating during Thanksgiving dinner, though. Below are a few Thanksgiving day foods that taste great and are good for you. Just remember; everything can be great in moderation!

1. Turkey

Unless it’s deep fried, covered in brown sugar, molasses and honey, then turkey is a powerful punch of protein. It’s good source of vitamin B, potassium and zinc; and each of these nutrients have been found to keep blood cholesterol low, provide protection against certain types of cancer and heart disease, and energize the immune system. Skip the dark turkey meat to keep the calories low. Considering turkey is a Thanksgiving Day staple, don’t be afraid to eat up.

2. Sweet Potatoes

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving dinner without sweet potatoes. It helps that they are some of the healthiest vegetables around. As with turkey, as long as a sweet potato isn’t dripping with additions like butter and marshmallows, it’s a good bet for your health. They can be roasted or baked to preserve nutrients such as fiber, vitamin A, potassium. A little known fact is that sweet potatoes contain photochemicals, which can ward off premature aging, cancer, and arthritis.

3. Cranberries

While cranberry sauce is usually a staple food on Thanksgiving; it isn’t the healthiest. Fresh cranberries, not the canned imitation sauce, are filled with disease-fighting antioxidants. Since the berries are naturally low in sugar, many Thanksgiving recipes make up for the lack of sweetness by suggesting large amounts of sugar to compensate. Adding sugar substitutes like Truvia can help flavor your dish without adding more sugar than necessary.

4. Pomegranate

You might not find pomegranate on everyone’s Thanksgiving shopping list, but it is becoming a staple at holiday dinners. It’s easy to enjoy a pomegranate this holiday season by either flavoring certain Thanksgiving recipes with pomegranate juice or adding the seeds to salads and other holiday creations.

5. Stuffing

If you thought stuffing was off of the holiday menu for the health conscious, think again. Stuffing is usually seen as one of the most fattening and filling Thanksgiving Day dishes. But you can transform this side with a few changes and make stuffing one of the healthier choices for your holiday meal. Instead of loading it with layers of carbohydrates, try including nuts, dried fruits, carrots, green peppers, celery, and other vegetables. Remember to use low sodium broth to flavor it as well.

6. Greens

Dark, leafy greens on Thanksgiving? Yes, please. For the holiday season, collard greens are usually on the menu in abundance. And with good reason; they are good for you. When prepared correctly (free of fats from bacon and other pork additives) they can be an excellent healthy addition to any Thanksgiving Day meal. If you can’t resist the bacon flavor taste that usually accompanies these greens, then use a substitute like turkey bacon to keep this dish low in fat.

7. Pumpkin

When you think Thanksgiving or Christmas, don’t you always think of pumpkin pie? Dieters usually are cautious about this holiday dessert, but the good news is you don’t have to be. This veggie (yes, pumpkin is a vegetable) is heavy on the heart-healthy nutrients such as fiber and vitamin A. Since pumpkin is moist naturally, you don’t have to include unhealthy ingredients to help it taste great. Use low-fat milk and egg substitutes to cut calories. If you will be visiting friends and you don’t want to sabotage your healthy eating, bring your revised version of pumpkin pie to share.

 

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