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Five Ways to Make Your Thanksgiving Feast Healthier

November 1, 2021 Pegalis Law Group

It’s estimated the average Thanksgiving plate contains 3,000 calories or more. And that’s just one plate! If you’re looking for ways to make your Thanksgiving feast less about gluttony and more of a celebration of living a healthy lifestyle this year, Pegalis Law Group, LLC presents five helpful tips below.

Switch to the Lighter Side of Life (and Turkey Meat)

Most traditional U.S. Thanksgiving feasts give turkey the place of honor as the main course. While turkey tends to be a leaner meat than pork or beef, you might be surprised to learn there are differences between dark turkey meat and white turkey meat. Dark meat found around the legs, wings, and thighs tends to have a higher fat content, which also helps it stay moist and flavorful. Choosing white meat instead of dark meat will help you cut calories, grams of saturated fat, and cholesterol per ounce. However, dark meat also contains more iron and zinc, so it’s not necessarily a bad choice either way. The most important thing to remember is to opt for skinless turkey meat when piling up your plate.

Look for Recipes With Less Fat, Sugar, or Calories

Another way to make your Thanksgiving meal healthier is to look for recipes for side dishes, appetizers, and desserts that contain less fat, salt, and sugar. However, just because something may be healthier doesn’t mean it has to be bland. Consider adding more herbs and spices to flavor vegetables like green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, and brussels sprouts to help you get fuller without adding more calories. There are also many ingredients you can add to your stuffing, such as mushrooms, sage, golden raisins, celery, onions, and garlic to make it less fattening but just as satisfying and aromatic.

Because no Thanksgiving feast is complete without bread, try whole-grain rolls, cornmeal biscuits, or spiced pumpkin loaf. Serving a salad of leafy greens or a hearty butternut squash soup can help your guests get fuller without second portions of fattier items. Consider making your own cranberry sauce from scratch to avoid the high fructose corn syrup found in the canned stuff, or whip up some baked apples with cinnamon and nutmeg for dessert instead of that store-bought pumpkin or pecan pie.

Go Easy on the Alcohol – Those Calories Add Up!

Many of us enjoy a glass of wine or beer with our holiday meals. Don’t forget that alcohol also contains calories, which can add up quickly with each additional drink. Switch to juice, water, or tea to help you stay hydrated and sober enough to partake in all of the festivities. Your waistline will thank you later.

Police Your Portions or Consider Skipping the Seconds

Although you may be tempted to go back for seconds and thirds, try to limit yourself to just one plate this Thanksgiving. Choose your favorites you can’t resist and avoid the foods you’re less crazy about when filling up your plate. Savor every flavorful bite – it’s not a race to finish everything. You might also consider making your portions smaller, so you can have a little bit of everything from the feast without feeling deprived. Not overindulging on the main meal can make you feel less guilty about having dessert and less lethargic afterward.

Include a Family Walk or Activity at Your Gathering

Instead of gathering around the television to watch a football game after the meal, consider a family activity that allows you to enjoy the outdoors and get moving. Go for a family walk or bike ride around the neighborhood or start up a game of tag football on the lawn. Many communities host Turkey Day walks and runs if you’d rather get your steps in and burn off calories before the big meal.

An Advocate for Healthy, Proactive Patients for Nearly 50 Years

As a New York-based personal injury and medical malpractice law firm for nearly 50 years, Pegalis Law Group, LLC is dedicated to creating public awareness and more proactive patients. Please visit our website and follow us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to receive additional insights about how you and your family can be more proactive about your healthcare this year and in the future.