The Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods

The Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks- not a time of regret! Check out this article on the best and worst Thanksgiving foods so you can make healthier choices this holiday season.


Skinless Light Meat Vs Dark Meat with Skin


When it comes to choosing your meat this thanksgiving you can start by always opting for lean white meats such as turkey, over red meats such as glazed roast ham. But should there be any preference when helping yourself to a portion of turkey on the day? Yes! When choosing your cut of turkey there are two main choices you can make- either opting for dark meat, the legs and thighs or the white meat, the turkey breast! The white cuts of the bird have less saturated fat and are generally the healthier choice!


Another part of the bird to leave behind with the dark meat is the skin! When cooking turkey the skin retains a high percentage of fat- by consuming skinless lean cuts of turkey you can still get a good intake of delicious protein whilst saving yourself a whole lot of calories and saturated fat!


Gravy Vs Jellied Cranberries


So when comparing gravy and jellied cranberries gravy is actually the healthier option. Jellied cranberries are packed full of sugar which ranks up the calories of your thanksgiving meal. That’s not to say you can help yourself to as much gravy as you want! Depending on how your gravy is made- gravy tends to contain a lot of fat, so why not try a different recipe such as a mushroom gravy recipe. Mushrooms may sound like a weird way to make gravy- buy hey! Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

Saute porcini and cremini mushrooms with garlic and shallots in a pan- add low fat turkey stock or a healthy broth, along with some wholemeal flour, season and blend! Mushrooms have a surprisingly meaty flavor so you may be pleasantly surprised by this healthy alternative!


Crust Vs Crust less Desserts


Pumpkin pie is by far one of the most traditional favorites! But also one of the unhealthiest! When making your pumpkin pie why not consider replacing sugar with granulated sweetener and even trying to add some vanilla protein powder!

Other tips would be using more egg whites than eggs, and when creating the crust try a ground nut, protein powder and peanut butter alternative.


If your perfert the traditional recipe, try leaving the crust! Dessert crusts are full of sugar and carbs, by leaving the crust you’ll be sure to save yourself some calories and carbs.


Finish the Meal with Fruit


If you’re really dedicated forget the pumpkin pie and finish off the meal with some delicious fruit! Fruit and sugary foods should generally be consumed in the beginning hours of the day and pre/post workout- but during thanksgiving these guidelines are bound to be broken. By choosing natural fresh fruit you’ll be consuming natural intrinsic sugar rather than manmade extrinsic sugars! If you love the idea of soft, warm, fruit pie fillings- why not try boiling chopped up fruit with a small amount of water and granulated sweetener or even try roasting fruit.


The Best Foods:

Lean Skinless Turkey

Mushroom Gravy


Green Beans (Without the Creamy Casserole)

Low Sugar Jellies or homemade versions substituting sugar for honey and sweetener.

Brussels Sprouts




Worst Calorie Foods:

Sweet Potato and Green Bean Casserole

Pecan Pie


Mashed Potatoes

Cranberry Jelly

Pre Prepared Sausage Stuffing

Pasta Dishes





A Take Home Message

When dishing up your thanksgiving dinner be sure to select more of the healthy good thanksgiving foods than the high fat and high calorie foods. Another tip is to consume all foods in moderation! Eat slowly and stop when you are full- don’t just chow down because this is the ultimate cheat meal, helping yourself to huge portions of everything- pick a few of your favorites and enjoy the meal!



Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.



Writer and expert

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