Keep yourself from gaining weight and have a healthier Thanksgiving with these holiday tips.
In this article:
- Consult Your Doctor
- Don’t Skip Meals
- Eat Your Greens
- Limit Sugar and Salt
- Choose Your Turkey Parts
- Make Your Own Healthy Gravy
- Drink Lots of Water
7 Healthy Thanksgiving Tips
Consult Your Doctor
Thanksgiving is one of the best times of the year. A lot of Thanksgiving foods, however, contain high levels of salt. Triggering high blood pressure and heart problems isn’t unlikely.
This is also the case with desserts — they are deliciously made with sugar. Having too much of them may cause or aggravate diabetes. It’s best to talk to your doctor about:
- Dietary restrictions (in relation to current condition and/or medications)
- Healthier Thanksgiving food desserts (like fruits and vegetables)
Don’t Skip Meals
It’s important not to skip meals, especially on Thanksgiving. Skipping meals may trigger hunger pangs. And, with the kind of food available on this holiday, it may be hard to prevent overindulging. Eat healthy meals like egg white omelets, vegetables, or whole grain cereal instead of saving up calories for later.
Eat Your Greens
Vegetables are loaded with fiber, which take longer to digest. They also keep you full longer with fewer carbohydrates and calories. Greens also contain high amounts of vitamins A and C.
Incorporate more healthy oils and vegetables into your pasta and sandwiches. Lessen the meat and unhealthy fats in your Thanksgiving dishes.
Limit Sugar and Salt
Sugar and salt both make food taste delicious. However, most foods served on Thanksgiving contain excessive amounts of both ingredients that they may jeopardize your health. Herbs and spices can enrich the flavor of your dishes, so try using them instead.
- Ground cinnamon is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Chili powder contains vitamin C that helps resist infection and iron that helps prevent anemia.
- Ground ginger helps with joint pain because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It also brings a sweet and peppery lemon flavor that complements sweet and savory dishes.
- Nutmeg has a calming effect that can help you de-stress and sleep better. It also brings a warm and sweet flavor to your hot drinks.
- Dried oregano may help in preventing breast cancer. It even adds a strong, lemony, and bold floral flavor to dishes.
- Bay leaves have Vitamins C and A. They also aid in digestion. Their hint of bitterness is perfect for stew and soups.
- Garlic has a powerful spicy taste that sweetens as its being cooked. It contains Vitamin C to boost the immune system. Manganese in this ingredient may help against osteoarthritis because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Pepper adds heat and spice to your food. This ingredient increases the secretion of hydrochloric acid in your stomach to aid in digestion. It also helps break up mucus for nasal congestion relief.
- Basil when added tastes sweet but savory to give meals that extra kick. The anti-inflammatory effects of this ingredient can help reduce the swelling from arthritis.
- Sesame tastes nutty and helps with maintaining healthy bones by properly metabolizing calcium.
- Thyme has a gentle flavor with minty and lemony tones. Eating it may offer relief as it clears out congestion from respiratory organs.
These are just some of the many healthy ingredients you can choose to add flavoring to your food in place of sugar and salt. You can try others that suit your condition and taste.
Choose Your Turkey Parts
Not all parts of the turkey are healthy. Certain parts have more calories and fat than others. Choose your parts:
- Most of the fats in turkey are located in the skin, therefore, removing the skin can make a leaner and less fattening dish.
- White meat which is in the turkey breast has less fat content and more protein. It’s full of vitamins and minerals such as iron, selenium, zinc vitamin B6, and niacin.
- Dark meat which is in the legs, thighs, and wings, while rich in selenium, iron, and zinc, contains more cholesterol.
Make Your Own Healthy Gravy
Avoid store-bought gravy because it contains more than the recommended amount of sugar and salt, plus preservatives. Instead, try making your own low-fat gravy using healthy spices and herbs.
Drink Lots of Water
Almost every list of healthy holiday tips and tricks mentions the power of staying hydrated with water. Water has no soft calories, unlike other beverages. It also aids in proper digestion. It even flushes out elements the body doesn’t need.
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Thanksgiving is a holiday full of great food. Caution, though, is needed to keep one’s self from leaning towards unhealthy eating. Use more natural alternatives as your ingredients — spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits instead of red meat, salt, and sugar — and have a healthier Thanksgiving!
What healthy recipes do you follow for Thanksgiving? Share them with us in the comments below!
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