Some Thanksgiving Food For Thought

Thanksgiving is almost here, in fact by the time this post goes on our website it will be about two days away. So here is some food for thought as we come to the most significant eating holiday of the year. Researchers from the Caloric Control Council report that on average we may eat as much as 4500 calories Thanksgiving Day. That could quickly put anyone’s diet off track.

I am not here to make anyone feel guilty for indulging on Thanksgiving. There are however some better choices we can make as we belly up to the table to partake of the meal we have been waiting for all year. That being said here is a breakdown of some favorite holiday dishes.

Brussel Sprouts
-Low in calories
-3g of fiber
-High in glucosinolates, which have been shown to fight cancer and decrease inflammation among other things.
-1/2 cup serving contains 27 calories, 6g carbs, 3g fiber, 1g protein, 0g fat

Collard Greens
-These are an excellent source of vitamin A, C, and K, as well as folate, manganese, and fiber.
-A single serving has 10% of the daily RDA for iron.
-1 cup serving contains 30 calories, 6g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g protein, 0g fat.

Sweet Potatoes
-A half cup of sweet potatoes has more than 300% of your RDA for vitamin A.
-They are also an excellent source of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight chronic disease.
-3oz serving contains 77 calories, 3g fiber, 2g protein, 0g fat.

Turkey Breast
-This is a prominent staple of any Thanksgiving meal, as well as a fantastic low-fat protein choice.
-It also contains tryptophan which makes you sleepy and is also a precursor to the mood booster serotonin.
-3oz serving contains 135 calories, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 30g protein, 1g fat.

Green Beans
-These are high in cancer-fighting antioxidants and vitamins A and C.
-They are high in fiber which promotes digestion and controls cholesterol.
-1 cup serving contains 38 calories, 9g carbs, 4g fiber, 2g protein, 0g fat.

Carrots
-High in vitamin A, which helps protect vision and strengthen muscles and bones.
-They are also a good source of fiber.
-1/2 cup serving contains 27 calories, 6g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 1g protein, 0g fat.

Ham
-Baked it is an excellent source of lean protein.
-It is also rich in vitamin B, thiamin, niacin, and B12, which convert, which help convert food to energy and enhance the nervous system.
-3oz serving contains 122 calories, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 20g protein, 4g fat.

Homemade Cranberry Sauce
-Cranberries are high in phytochemicals, including phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and proanthocyanidins, which help with inflammation and cancer.
-1/4 cup serving contains 40 calories, 18g carbs, 3g fiber, 0g protein, 0g fat.

Corn
-A good source of fiber which helps promote digestive health.
-Also high in antioxidants that have anti-aging properties.
-1/2 cup serving contains 66 calories, 16g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g protein, 0g fat.

Wine
-A single glass of red wine contains heart-healthy compounds, known as reservatrol, which prevents damage to blood vessels, reduces clots, and helps regulate bad cholesterol.
-5oz serving contains 125 calories, 4g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g protein, 0g fat.

Canned Cranberry Sauce
-Even canned cranberry sauce offers some of the same benefits as fresh cranberry sauce; it contains 21g of sugar compared to homemade which includes only 9g.
-1/4 cup serving contains 110 calories, 25g carbs, 3g fiber, 0g protein, 0g fat.

Apple Crisp
-A hearty helping of apples, small amount of butter, and no cream,
this dessert is a lower calorie and lower fat option than pumpkin and pecan pie.
-1/2 cup serving contains 161 calories, 30g carbs, 1g fiber, 1g protein, 3g fat.

Green Bean Casserole
-This is usually made with fatty cream and whole milk and topped with fried onions.
-One cup has three times the calories and fat of green beans.
-1 cup serving contains 142 calories, 14g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g protein, 9g fat.

Sweet Potato Casserole
-The unhealthy addition of butter, brown sugar and marshmallows lack nutritional value and add up to 12g of fat and four teaspoons of sugar per serving.
-Sweet potato mash may be a preferable substitute.
-1/2 cup serving contains 250 calories, 33g carbs, 1g fiber, 3g protein, 12g fat.

Pumpkin Pie
-High in calories and fat.
-Layered with pumpkin which is high in beta-carotene, but also contains butter, cream cheese, sugar, and egg yolks.
-one slice serving contains 337 calories, 46g carbs, 2g fiber, 4g protein, 19g fat

Apple Pie
-Polyphenols found in apples help regulate blood sugar, reduce sugar absorption, and stimulate insulin production.
-However, when doused with butter, sugar and refined flour, the health benefits are outweighed by calories.
-1/8 pie serving contains 411 calories, 39g carbs, 1g fiber, 4g protein, 19g fat.

Cornbread
-When made with 2% milk, cornbread does offer 15% of your daily RDA for calcium.
-Other than that it is low in nutrient value and high in calories.
-2-inch serving size contains 173 calories, 28g carbs, 1g fiber, 4g protein, 5g fat.

Stuffing
-Often made with giblets, sausage, butter, and other ingredients high in calories.
-A small serving can contain as much as 5g of fat.
-1/2 cup contains 160 calories, 18g carbs, 1g fiber, 3g protein 9g fat.

Mashed Potatoes
-Often mixed with a significant amount of high calorie, high-fat ingredients like butter, cream, and milk.
-If topped with gravy you can add as much as 200 calories to the meal.
-1/2 cup contains 116 calories, 17g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g protein, 5g fiber.

Pecan Pie
-Pecans are high in 19 vitamins and a good source of healthy fat and fiber.
-Mixing them into a pie with sugar, butter, and refined carbs make for a pie with as many as 500 calories per serving.
-1/8 pie contains 503 calories, 64g carbs, 1g fiber, 6g protein, 27g fat.

Beer
-Drinking beer can cause a domino effect, it lowers blood sugar which leads to craving seconds.
-It also increases inflammation.
-12oz serving contains 153 calories, 13g carbs, 0g fiber, 2g protein, 0g fat.

Homemade Gravy
-Often made from pan drippings, gravy is high in calories.
-A quarter cup has little nutritional value and 18g of fat, most of it saturated fat.
-1/4 cup contains 262 calories, 26g carbs, 0g fiber, 4g protein, 18g fat.

At the end of the day you can add up all the calories and feel bad about overindulging, or you can just take it for what it is and enjoy the day with your family and friends which is what it is all about. Just make the choices that are best for your goal, and with some of the information here perhaps make a more educated decision about what to eat or drink.