Monday, November 25, 2013
Turkey on it's own is low in fat and high in protein. A 3.5 oz serving of white meat is only 194 calories with the skin on and dark meat with skin is 232 calories. According to the National Turkey Foundation, approximately 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day (2011 data), or almost 274 million people.
Our crowd of carnivores is not wrong about the benefits of this lean white meat. It's the next thing they put in their mouths that is the cause of their holiday weight gain.
Whether that was mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams or sweet potatoes with marshmallows, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie, these foods contain more calories than you need. There are healthy ways to modify the traditional Thanksgiving sides that substitute excess calories, carbohydrates and sugars with healthy vitamins and nutrients. You can stay slim and enjoy holiday meals.
Try mashed cauliflower or parsnips instead of mashed potatoes. Roast or steam vegetables and save an extra 40 calories by not eating the turkey skin. Leave out the sugar when making your cranberry sauce and ditto for candied yams and sweet potatoes. Make a pumpkin mousse or crust less pie and leave the ice cream in the freezer.
The expectations are high at holiday meals, but remember it's about the company you keep, not the cuisine. Don't rely on old family recipes that were written before we were aware of the dangers of over eating. Establish new traditions with new holiday foods that are prepared using calories that count for something healthy and delicious.