By: Athletic & Personal Development program, Nutrition division
When you think of Thanksgiving, you think of food, food and more food. Since eating is the center of this holiday, restricting food during this time can be difficult. Instead, try to choose the best options from the foods you may be served. Follow this guideline on making the best Thanksgiving food choices.
Turkey: The main attraction!
Let's start off with the good news. Since turkey is a kind of poultry, it is a lean meat choice, meaning that it has less fat than beef or pork. You can also choose turkey without the skin and eat white meat over dark meat to decrease the fat content even more.
Go easy on the stuffing, as it is high in calories and fat. As good as it might taste, don't overload your plate with mashed potatoes either because potatoes often contain extra butter or cream, which is filled with calories and fat, as well. If you are having other starches, try and stay away from the extra bread and butter. If whole grain is an option, choose that, as it will help keep you fuller longer because of the high fiber content and give you more nutrients.
Pies are typically a high-fat food. However, this does not mean you should not have a piece! Savor each bite to make
one slice last longer. This can help reduce the temptation of going up for another slice. Below is a comparison of fat content of 1 slice of common holiday pies:
Pecan-- Calories: 503. Fat: 244
Apple-- Calories: 411. Fat: 174
Cherry-- Calories: 390. Fat: 148
Pumpkin-- Calories: 323. Fat: 132
It can be easy to have two or three glasses of sugary drinks without thinking about it. The extra calories coming from the large amounts of added sugars can add up quickly. Be aware when you are drinking sweetened drinks and stick to one glass and then have water for the rest of the night. Instead of having a 16-ounce cup of Coke that is 200 calories you could have 3 oz. of turkey without gravy and Â½ cup of green bean casserole, which is about 200 calories combined.
Don't go to Thanksgiving dinner starving! Skipping meals before going to dinner will lead you to eat more. Have a snack such as a piece of fruit before hand to help control how much you eat.
Try to eat small portions. This way you can sample all the food and you can always go back for more. Don't let your eyes be bigger than your stomach!
A lot of the time we continue to mindlessly snack after the main meal is over, even if we're not hungry. Try to limit that during Thanksgiving by staying mindful of what you are putting in our plate.