A Healthy Thanksgiving: How to Make Your Big Meals More Nutritional

It’s our favorite time of year; a time to come together as family and friends and to celebrate the things that matter most, giving thanks and toasting great memories and food. And of course, the food is a huge part of the holidays. Delicious turkeys, hams, potatoes, and other seasonal staples come together to create an amazing spread of delicious temptations, not to mention the desserts and sweets that follow.

However, the holidays can also be pitfalls for those trying to stick to diets. Butter is commonplace, excessive amounts of sodium abounds, and desserts provide a sweet way to completely ruin your diet. But don’t despair! Before you pass the plate on all the good food, here are some tips to make Thanksgiving meals healthy.

  • Skip the pads of butter

If you’re going to enjoy a baked potato (or mashed potato) for a meal, make sure you’re not adding any butter. Chances are, butter went into mashed potatoes already, and adding anything more increases the unhealthiness of the side.

  • Wait a bit for seconds

Your table is filled with food, but that doesn’t mean you have to eat it all right away! After you finish your plate of food, wait a while. Talk to your friends and family. Oftentimes you’ll find that you are actually full and do not need any more food. And besides: Thanksgiving leftovers are always delicious.

  • Try making an “untraditional” side

Instead of casseroles smothered in gravies or carb-loaded biscuits, try something new this year, like maple roasted Brussels sprouts, roasted asparagus or vegetarian friendly stuffing. While it might take a little getting used to, switching some of the heavier side items will allow you to enjoy a more nutritional Thanksgiving meal.

  • Limit the amount of alcohol

Typically at celebrations like these, you’ll toast with a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage. It is not uncommon to have a few glasses of wine, but try to remember that drinking too much is bad for your liver, and while it is a holiday, your body will thank you in the long run!

What are some of the ways that you can make Thanksgiving healthier this year? Do you have a favorite recipe that is health-conscious and delicious? Often it’s simply about finding a balance between healthy food and the occasional treat. We hope you have a great holiday season and enjoy your time with your friends and family.