Your Thanksgiving dinner is a giant plate of seduction loaded with carbs, sugar and fat. But it’s no fun to skip your favorite dish to keep the
calorie count in check. Trim down these holiday classics with a few simple recipe fixes and enjoy a second helping.
The big bird doesn’t have to be high fat. In fact, turkey
is one of the healthier foods that will appear on a Thanksgiving plate. Don’t eat the skin and you’ll cut down on the fat content by almost half.
White meat is for the most part leaner than
dark. A single 4-ounce serving of turkey breast has less than 200 calories, compared with dark meat, which usually tips over the 200 calorie mark.
Let’s be honest, the topping for your turkey and stuffing is
delicious because it’s loaded with fat. But it doesn't have to be that way. Skim off some of the fat and avoid adding extra butter to your favorite gravy recipe to keep it on the lighter side. Or try substituting fat-free chicken broth.
Sweet potato casserole
Ooey-gooey, butter-laden, marshmallow-topped sweet
potatoes are basically dessert on your dinner plate – a surefire way to
send your calorie count over the edge. Some versions of this dish can have as much as
500 calories and 20 grams of fat per serving.
Here’s a simple fix: Let your sweet potatoes go au naturel. One large baked sweet potato, way more than
you’d ever eat, has a little over 150 calories and nearly no fat as long
as you skip the butter.
The classic bread stuffing is super heavy on the carbs. One generous serving – about
three-quarters of a cup – has more than 30 carbohydrates and around 200
A tasty alternative is to stuff your bird with
roasted veggies, such as carrots, parsnips and onions mixed with fresh herbs.
Most guests probably won’t miss the bread.
The store-bought version of cranberry sauce is sweetened,
which means it’s high in refined sugar. Some companies now sell versions that
are made with sugar substitute. Or consider combining an unsweetened cranberry
relish with apple sauce.
Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be complete without this
classic dessert that clocks in at 323 calories a serving. But that doesn’t mean
you have to squash dessert completely or make it taste so-so. Consider a
few simple switches: Low fat milk instead of cream; Stevia sweetener instead of sugar; and go easy on the whipped cream.
A lot of the calories are hidden in the buttery crust, so substitute a lower-fat pie crust or just eat the yummy filling and leave some crust behind on your plate.