Thanksgiving can pose a challenge to those struggling with diabetes, heart disease or obesity. Not only is Thanksgiving notorious for overeating, but it’s also the first of three hectic holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. If you’re the one planning the Thanksgiving meal, take time to see if anyone attending has specific health needs and provide healthy alternatives. If you’re attending someone else’s Thanksgiving, it can seem like a trap, with people enticing you to eat foods that may not align with your health needs.
Take a stand! We want to provide you with a list of tools to help you have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!
Stick with the skinless white meat turkey. It has slightly lower calories and fat than dark meat.
Pick your carbs wisely. Potatoes and stuffing are two staples of Thanksgiving and both tend to be high in carbohydrates.
Casseroles are often made with creamy soups, butter or fried onions making them very fatty and with wholesome names like “green bean casserole” this can be misleading. Try to pick grilled or steamed vegetables and skip the casseroles all together.
If you have a sweet tooth and just can’t resist desserts, stick to pumpkin pie. It generally has far fewer calories than other traditional Thanksgiving indulgences and the small dollop of whipped cream is better than the vanilla ice cream often paired with pecan or apple.
Making healthy eating choices during Thanksgiving is just as important as it is any other time of year. Volunteering to bring your own healthy dish is always the easiest, but the tips above should help you navigate any Thanksgiving dinner. Consult your physician about your dietary needs in order to make the most informed decisions about your healthcare needs.