How to Build a Healthier Thanksgiving Plate
From: Real Simple
By: Diana Kelly
Are you looking to stay nutritionally healthy through the Thanksgiving weekend?
Looking for tips on healthy alternative Thanksgiving offerings?
Real Simple lays it out for us. Enjoy.
No one ever said Thanksgiving dinner was healthy. But there are certain tricks to make it a little healthier—and to avoid riding out an uncomfortable food coma on the couch for the rest of the night. Whether you’re doling out your own portions, or you’re at the mercy of Aunt Ida passing out plates piled high with “a little bit of everything,” knowing which foods you should be eating more of—and which you should only enjoy a few bites of—will help you make the best possible choices.
Start by filling half your plate with vegetables, then pile one-quarter up with turkey breast, and leave the remaining one-quarter for starchy sides. Here, some more expert-approved guidelines for keeping portions in check this Thanksgiving Day. Start with soup. Pour yourself a bowl of seasonal veggie soup, suggests Katherine Tallmadge, RD, author of Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations. She recommends a butternut squash soup, or a broccoli and carrot soup with potatoes and thyme. Kicking off your meal with soup will help you slow down while eating, and research has shown it may even reduce the number of calories you consume at your main meal.
Go crazy with the right veggies. Fill up 50 percent of your plate with non-starchy veggies. This may include Brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, bell peppers, or a green salad, says Lori Zanini, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Stick with smaller portions of starchy (read: higher-calorie) veggies, such as corn, potatoes, green peas, and winter squashes.