10 Easy Ways to Make Your Thanksgiving Meal a Healthy One

Apicha Community Health Center Nov 08, 2018  

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If you celebrate Thanksgiving, then you know all about the delicious treats that come with this holiday. And, as delicious as they are, it's no secret some of these holiday dishes aren't always the healthiest.

But have no fear. There are ways to make your Thanksgiving and holiday meals a tad healthier -- and still just as delicious. Here are ten ways you can do that.

Tips on making a healthier holiday meal
  1. Salt can make any dish tip the scales against your health. Instead of using salt, try using as much herbs and spices to get that flavoring just right.
  2. Skip the butter. Instead of using butter/lard, consider cooking and baking with olive or coconut oil. They each have a lower saturated fat content and cholesterol level, which is easier on your arteries.
  3. Cut the cream.Heavy cream and sour cream are delicious, but unforgiving to your health. Try using greek yogurt as a substitute for these--and you can even mix in some spices for more flavor.
  4. Use reduced fat or fat-free milks. It will help cut out calories, fat, and cholesterol.
  5. Switch to fat-free condensed milk for your desserts--they’ll still be deliciously sweet!
  6. Ease the cheese: Everyone loves cheese, but it’s high in saturated fat and sodium. If you’re going to cook or eat cheese, try  purchasing reduced fat cheeses.
  7.  Buy or make reduced sugar cranberry sauce. Often times cranberry sauce is loaded with added sugars. If you're buying cranberry sauce, look for a reduced sugar one. If you're making the sauce yourself, consider cutting back on how much sweetener you add. 
  8. Rethink the sweeteners you're using. For all desserts, consider whether you can use a different sweetener than refined white sugar. Avoid corn starch as well if you can. Some better options are maple syrup, coconut sugar, and agave syrup.
  9. Switch out your sugar- and alcohol-heavy beverages. Many drinks during the holidays are loaded with sugar and alcohol. Try drinking a sugar-free or reduced calorie beverage to avoid those hidden calories, or a "light" beer. Drinking some La Croix never hurt anyone, right?
  10. Don't forget the gravy. Gravy is one of the best parts of Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, it can be very high in fat. A good way to reduce the fat in gravy is placing it in the fridge and waiting for the fat to rise. Once it does, you can scoop it out the top and toss it.
Looking for other ways to have a healthy holiday season? Here are some nutrition tips to follow as we go through the holidays. 

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