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The Healthiest Thanksgiving Foods to Eat

Nov 18, 2015

Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what you have and celebrating with family, friends and great food. So enjoying this occasion shouldn’t come with regret from eating too many unhealthy foods. Thanksgiving can be full of healthy foods and recipes that will allow you to indulge without feeling too full or ruining your diet.

Be sure your Thanksgiving meal includes the following foods and you’ll have a dinner your stomach and your waistline will enjoy.

White Meat vs. Dark Meat

Turkey is the main course at many Thanksgiving dinners, but opting for white meat over dark meat can save you 50 calories per 3 ounces. However, both types of meat are a good source of protein

Green Beans

Green beans are healthy vegetables that add flavor and crunch to any meal as a side dish. They can be steamed, sautéed or roasted for one of the healthiest parts of Thanksgiving dinner. Avoid adding too much sauce, salt, or other extras that can take away from this healthy vegetable.


Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes contain tons of nutrients that make it a healthy option for your Thanksgiving dinner. Packed with vitamins B6, C, and D, iron, magnesium and potassium, sweet potatoes are healthier thank white potatoes. Avoid loading up your sweet potatoes with marshmallows, sugar and butter, and opt instead to whip them with an egg for a creamy, healthy dish.


Starting off the meal with a crisp salad made of leafy greens and flavorful additives will provide plenty of vitamins and help you set the pace for the rest of your Thanksgiving meal. Use spinach instead of iceberg lettuce, and add apples, cranberries, and pecans for a seasonal flavor.

Being healthy isn’t just about the best foods to eat. Learn some additional tips about how to be healthy this Thanksgiving.


Eat breakfast.

Since Thanksgiving dinners are usually held before dinnertime, or you’re always too busy with preparations to think about breakfast, sometimes your first meal of the day consists of turkey. But having breakfast can help you control your appetite for the rest of the day. Start with a small but satisfying breakfast such as an egg with whole wheat toast or oatmeal with fruit. This will help you from overeating at Thanksgiving dinner.

Use low calorie ingredients.

When following a recipe, don’t be afraid to substitute some ingredients for low-fat or fat-free ones. For example, use fat free chicken broth, and sugar substitutes instead of sugar. Also, try to reduce oil and butter whenever possible.

Pay attention to portions.

Instead of piling your dish high this Thanksgiving, try to be cautious of your portions and take small amounts of the foods you desire the most. Try to avoid a second helping, but if you do go back for more, try to be even more aware of your portions.

Monitor alcohol intake.

Enjoying a few alcoholic beverages at your Thanksgiving is common, but overdoing it will dehydrate you and the empty calories can cause weight gain. Be sure not to overdo it.