Build a Healthy Thanksgiving Plate
Thanksgiving dinner can be far from healthy, but you can employ certain tricks to make it healthier. Whether you are at the mercy of Aunt Jane passing out plates piled high with big portions of everything on the table or you are getting your own portions, knowing which you should only enjoy a few bits of, and which foods you should be eating more of – can help you make healthier food choices.
Build a healthier Thanksgiving plate with these tips from Physicians Premier, your Saratoga, TX ER.
You can begin by filling ½ of your plate with veggies, ¼ up with turkey breast, and leave the remaining ¼ for starchy foods.
1. Start with soup
Any seasonal vegetable soup is best – whether it be carrot and broccoli soup with thyme and potatoes, or a butternut squash soup. Starting your meal by pouring yourself a bowl of soup will help you slow down while eating. In fact, studies show that it may even reduce the calories that you eat at your main meal.
2. Devour the right veggies
Fill up 50% of your plate with non-starchy vegetables such as green beans, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, carrots, or a green salad. Eat smaller portions of higher calorie vegetables like green peas, corn, winter squashes, and potatoes.
If you are in charge of the dinner preparations, mix colorful veggies in your dishes, and use spices, garlic, herbs, and onions to flavor them (fewer calories). Add a healthy twist to classic comfort foods. For example, you can use some grilled green beans with red pepper flakes and garlic instead of the traditional green bean casserole.
3. Toss out the turkey skin
If you stick to skinless white meat, your turkey will be relatively low in calories. Protein helps you feel full for longer, so most nutritionists don’t really mind if you consume more than the recommended three ounces of protein.
4. Eat the sides sparingly
Keep your favorite holiday special sides to half a cup. Consider all casseroles as starch. Even vegetable casseroles have sticks of butter, creamy soups, and a whole lot of cheese. They can give you excessively high amounts of calories and sodium. More sodium equates to belly bloat and water retention.
5. Dessert time? Practice portion control
If you are trying to cut back, try to limit the variety of desserts. You will most likely stick to one slice if there is only one pie on the table. Never feel that a whipped cream topping or an additional scoop of ice cream is a requirement. If you finish your slice off with these, try to keep it to a golf-ball sized helping.
Don’t forget that drinks have calories, and they count too! Most health experts recommend limiting daily alcohol intake to two for men and one for women.
Yes, it is possible to approach the Thanksgiving holiday like a nutrition pro! The caring staff at Physicians Premier, your Emergency Room in Saratoga, TX, wishes you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday. If you need us, we are always open, 24/7.