Home > Cooper Updates > Lighter Versions of Thanksgiving Favorites

Lighter Versions of Thanksgiving Favorites

Prepping and eating a Thanksgiving dinner comprised of traditional holiday foods doesn’t have to negatively affect your waist line. With a mission to “maintain, don’t gain” this Thanksgiving, try making healthy substitutions and adjustments to your classic meal.

You can cut many calories and fat from a traditional Thanksgiving feast through minor substitutions, such as the following:

Instead of these high-fat traditional foods…

  • Turkey, white and dark meat, 6 oz. – 334 calories, 14 g fat
  • Cornbread stuffing, 1 cup – 423 calories, 31 g fat
  • Mashed potatoes, ½ cup – 219 calories, 17 g fat
  • Sauteed green beans, ½ cup – 153 calories, 13 g fat
  • Homemade rolls, 2 – 300 calories, 8 g fat
  • Gravy, 5 ladles – 920 calories, 96 g fat
  • Pecan pie, 1 slice – 241 calories, 12 g fat

Try these low-fat traditional food substitutions!

  • Turkey breast roasted without skin, 6 oz. – 314 calories, 6.4 g fat
  • Wild rice stuffing, 1 cup – 260 calories, 4 g fat
  • Baked sweet potato, 7 oz. – 236 calories, a trace of fat
  • Baked potato, 7 oz. – 220 calories, a trace of fat
  • Green beans, 2 cups – 100 calories, 0 g fat
  • Whole grain rolls, 2 – 220 calories, 2 g fat
  • Cranberry sauce, ½ cup – 209 calories, 0 g fat
  • Angel food cake, 1 slice – 250 calories, a trace of fat

The high fat meal contains 2590 calories and 191 grams of fat. The low fat meal contains 1809 calories and just 12.4 grams of fat. Additionally, cutting portion sizes (such as eating only ½ cup of stuffing instead of ¾ cup) can save extra calories from making their way onto your plate.

Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services offer additional tips and tricks to help you enjoy holiday meals while still staying on track with your healthy eating plan:

  1. Set a realistic goal – maintaining and not gaining weight is a great success!
  2. Start the day with a balanced breakfast. Don’t “save up” for a celebration later in the day when you are hungry and high fat options are available.
  3. Select a smaller plate for portion control.
  4. Be satisfied, not stuffed.
  5. Plan to enjoy all your favorites in moderation. If you don’t love it, then don’t eat it – save the calories for something you’ll really enjoy.
  6. Try limiting your celebration to one day which will not break your eating program. Send leftovers home with guests or avoid making too much.
  7. Be active and keep moving to help burn those extra calories and help manage stress.

We wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

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