6 Healthier Thanksgiving Swaps

6 Healthier Thanksgiving Swaps

The Thanksgiving feast remains a beloved holiday boasting hearty fare and decadent desserts as far as the eye can see. Research by the Calorie Control Council suggests that the average American may consume as many as 3,000 to 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day alone! Thankfully, a few healthy swaps can bring that calorie count way down without sacrificing taste.

Doing all of these swaps can save almost 700 calories and 50 grams of fat!

SKIP: Turkey with Skin
EAT: Skinless Roasted Turkey
“Instead of having 3.5 ounces of roasted turkey with skin, try 3.5 ounces of skinless roasted turkey to save some fat calories,” says Heather M. Krick, RD, LDN, a bariatric dietitian at St. Luke’s Weight Management Center in Stroudsburg. 

SKIP: Sweet Potato Casserole
EAT: Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato casserole made with canned sweet potatoes continues to be a popular choice. Krick urges you to use healthier, fresh sweet potatoes instead of canned in your recipes, or—better yet—skip the casserole altogether and roast them instead. Just cube, toss in olive oil, and roast in the oven. 

SKIP: Butter-Laden Mashed Potatoes
EAT: Potato-Cauliflower Mash
For everyone’s favorite mashed potatoes, she suggests choosing skim milk, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, chicken broth, garlic powder, and low-fat cheese in place of whole milk, sour cream, and butter. Krick also encourages replacing some of the potatoes with steamed cauliflower. 

SKIP: Traditional Stuffing
EAT: Veggie-Heavy Stuffing or Rice Pilaf
Krick suggests serving wild or brown rice pilaf instead of regular stuffing for a lower calorie side dish that packs a lot of fiber. Don’t want to miss stuffing altogether? Go for a veggie-heavy variation: “Use less bread and more onions, garlic, celery, and mushrooms. Make it with olive oil instead of butter and reduce it by one-third.” 

SKIP: Crescent Roll
EAT: Whole Grain Roll
Another healthier swap comes with the beloved crescent roll. “Instead of one medium crescent roll with butter, try a whole grain roll,” Krick suggests.

SKIP: Pecan Pie
EAT: Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Replace the pecan pie with some crustless pumpkin pie to save yourself a boatload of calories and sugar, suggests Krick. Consider chopping up a few pecans to sprinkle on top if you still crave that classic, nutty taste.

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