Five Best Holiday Foods
Thanksgiving is a day for family and friends, for togetherness and thankfulness– and foroverindulging on traditional holiday favorites.However, you don’t have to add the guilt of overeating to your plate and end up as stuffed as your turkey. There are numerous healthy options to be had at your table this holiday season that are good for you and set the tone for those busy days ahead. Here are five traditional Thanksgiving foods that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating.
There’s a lot of goodness packed into these tart, red berries. They are loaded with antioxidants and are rich in fiber and potassium.
Cranberries are one of the foods said to have been present at the first Thanksgiving in 1621, so by serving them you are following tradition. To increase the health benefits and eat them as our forebears did, serve them in a relish instead of out of a can. Canned sauce is full of sugar and extra calories you don’t need.
Thankfully, turkey is of the healthiest options at the big feast! It is a great source of lean protein and helps to fill you up fast, keeping you from overdoing it on less healthy options. After all, roast turkey is the star of the table and an indulgence not often enjoyed, so go ahead and dig in.
There is not much difference in calories between dark and light meat. A three-ounce serving of turkey breast will only set you back 120 calories; the same amount of dark meat has about 160.Where the calories lie is in the fatty skin, which may have been coated in butter as well, so be sure to remove it before tucking in to your turkey.
Sweet potatoes may seem indulgent because they taste like a creamy and rich dessert, but they are actually nutritional powerhouses. They contain the powerful antioxidant beta-carotene, as well as vitamin C, potassium and fiber. They get their wonderfully sweet flavor from an enzyme that converts the spud’s starches to sugars as it grows, and the flavor is intensified as it’s cooked.
To keep the traditional sweet potato casserole healthy, avoid drowning it in butter, sugar and marshmallows. Try adding flavor with orange juice or orange zest, or add some crunch with nuts. Try new twists on tradition and serve one of these healthier sweet potato casserole options.
These popular legumes are good for you any time of the year. They contain vitamins A, C and K, in addition to fiber, folate, iron, manganese and potassium. Avoid the creamy, calorie-laden green bean casserole and prepare your beans in a lighter fashion. Try steaming or boiling them, and season them lightly. Even a bit of butter is OK.
If your family craves the fatty casserole, try preparing a lighter version. Numerous options are out there, such as this version from Web MD. The key is using reduced fat or fat-free ingredients. Retain the taste; not the calories!
After finishing your Thanksgiving feast, kick back and relax in front of the fireplace with a cup of cocoa. There’s no need to feel guilty about chocolate – it’s proven that consuming small amounts helps lower your systolic blood pressure. This helps to lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
You’ll want to choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate to get the highest amounts of antioxidant flavonoids and reap the health benefits. Dark chocolate with at least 70 percent of cocoa solids can help lower bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol.
These foods can keep you from turning your Thanksgiving Day plate into a nutritional nightmare. To really put a cap on your healthy holiday, try heading out for a Turkey Trot after the big meal to burn off some of that dinner. Then, settle down by the fire with your cup of healthy cocoa and relax before hitting the Black Friday shopping lines and buying the Mustang exhaust part your husband has to have, along with the new ipad mini that your sister insists will be a great holiday investment.