5@5 - 'Eat This! Not That!' author David Zinczenko
November 19th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

We repeat: we're a food blog, not a diet blog - that's not to say we don't have your health in mind. For most, over-eating on Thanksgiving is allowed, nay, encouraged - but for some, whatever the reason, the Turkey Day spread isn't worth the diet derail. Kudos brave soul. We'll be the ones funneling the gravy.

To guide those on the buffet bob-and-weave, we've enlisted the help of David Zinczenko, the editor-in-chief of Men's Health magazine and the bestselling author behind the Eat This! Not That! series of books.

Eat This, Not That! Thanksgiving Tips: David Zinczenko

1. "Cornbread suffers from the same carbohydrate overload as any other hunk of bread, but it amplifies the problem with a heavy hit of sugar. That amounts to a tumultuous ride for the glucose level in your blood, and the end result is more flab on your body. If you’re set on eating a dinner bread, minimize the damage by switching to a more classic roll. Oh, and don’t fear the butter. It helps moderate your blood sugar as you eat."

Not That:
Cornbread with butter
190 calories
9 g fat (4 g saturated)
160 mg sodium

Eat This Instead:
Dinner roll with butter
130 calories
5 g fat (2 g saturated)
210 mg sodium

2. "Dark meat has some redeeming nutritional qualities, but alongside the calorie-dense feast of the typical Thanksgiving dinner, it’s best to stick with the lean stuff. White meat has about half as much fat as dark meat, and if you serve it with homemade cranberry sauce instead of the creepy canned blob, you’ll cut out unnecessary sugar calories, too."

Not That:
Dark turkey meat (4 oz) with jellied cranberry sauce (1/2-inch slice)
410 calories
10 g fat (4 g saturated)
320 mg sodium

Eat This Instead:
Turkey breast (4 oz) with homemade cranberry sauce (2 Tbsp)
195 calories
4 g fat
265 mg sodium

3. "Marshmallows are essentially puffy balls of sugar - sort of like cotton candy without all the stringy pink fibers. Does that sound like a healthy topping to your taters? Of course not. You might as well flop a big dollop of cake frosting onto every bite of potatoes. Instead of the candy-covered sweet spuds, go with the classic mashed Russets with gravy. The old stand-by is packed with minerals, and each scoop bolsters your meal with about 3 grams of fiber."

Not That:
Candied sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping (1/2 cup)
250 calories
8 g fat (5 g saturated)
270 mg sodium

Eat This Instead:
Mashed potatoes (1/2 cup) with turkey gravy (1/4 cup)
140 calories
7 g fat (2 g saturated)
340 mg sodium

4. "Stuffing is nothing more than a pile of fat-soaked croutons shot through with sodium. And the damage is twice as severe if you cook yours inside the bird, where it mops up all the fat drippings before they have a chance to seep out. Do you and your family a favor by 'forgetting' the stuffing this year, and instead double your efforts on the healthy vegetable front. Best advice: Take the classic green bean casserole recipe, nix the cream of mushroom filler and crispy onion topping, and replace them both with a big batch of sautéed onions. In one move you’ll earn bigger flavor and better nutritional stats."

Not That:
Stuffing (1/2 cup)
175 calories
14 g fat (6 g saturated)
420 mg sodium

Eat This Instead:
Green bean casserole (1/2 cup)
100 calories
6 g fat (1 g saturated)
300 mg sodium

5. "Pecans are a great source of heart-healthy fats, but when served in pie form, all the health benefits are carried off in a torrent of corn syrup calories. Pumpkin pie, to contrast, carries a more reasonable load of sugar, making it one of the lightest delectables on the holiday table. Plus pumpkin puree is replete with beta-carotene, which bolsters the immune system, fights cancer, and improves skin tones. Not bad for dessert."

Not That:
Pecan pie (1 medium slice, 1/6 pie)
450 calories
21 g fat (4 g saturated)
70 g sugars

Eat This Instead:
Pumpkin pie with low-fat whipped cream (1 medium slice, 1/6 pie)
335 calories
15 g fat (6.5 g saturated)
38 g sugars

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Diets • Health News • Holidays • HolidayShopping • Thanksgiving • Think

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. l snow

    Juat a thought. Why do people make money off garbage like this. I say eat, smoke and enjoy yourself. Why do people want to live to be really really old? Beats the heck out of me. I have reached the magical age of 70 years and I don 't know how. I had to quit smoking, smoked for 50yrs but now I know I probably have another 50 to go. I get to go for my death counseling next doctos appointment even though I am not sick except for blood pressure pills. Old people are nothing but a drain and a burden on society and the most unproductive members of society. I quit smoking because of the money it takes. There is no money for old people to get a little raise on social security but plenty of money for everything else. I looked and looked for a job but I think no one wants hire an old person. I would like to keep smoking and all the unhealthy things I can do. I could kill myself the fun way and get a lot of benefit from death conseling. So I say eat what you enjoy, smoke , and whatever because when you do wind up old you are a total burden anyway.

    January 25, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  2. Texas Pete

    If you have a problem with the candied sweet potatoes, you are not welcome at my Thanksgiving table. And I agree with the above, just don't put much sugar in when you make the cornbread and it will have more flavor and be healthier.

    November 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  3. Jimmy

    The author is obviously a Yankee. We southerners usually steer clear from adding sugar to our cornbread. We like cornBREAD and not cornCAKE.

    November 23, 2010 at 12:09 am |
  4. Cole

    I'd like to know if this guy follows his own advice and eats nothing but boring food.

    I'm all for healthy eating (Food today came to 8 servings of veg, 3 fruit, 3 whole grains, a bunch of skim milk and eggs, fats were a serving of roasted almonds, peanut butter, canola and oil olive, no added sugar, and the only thing remotely "bad" was the 2 servings of couscous), but not on this (silly) level. No crispy onions on the green beans? That deserves a **** ***! Also, "classic" mashed potatoes has a ton of cream and butter, so I don't know where that 140 calories number came from.

    Could y'all please track down someone like Clarissa Dickson Wright of "Two Fat Ladies" fame? Need folks that aren't afraid of flavor and good food! As for health, as long as exercise matches what you eat, it doesn't matter what kind of junk one consumes. I'm sure lots have seen the garbage, "Supersize Me." Well, take a minute to check out, "Downsize Me."

    November 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  5. RichardHead@Truth

    He must really be p.o.'d,won't even answer on the Iphizzle. Have a good weekend and will yell at ya Mon.

    November 19, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
    • Truth@richhead

      You too my firend. Best to you and WonderDog!

      November 19, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants from his iPhizzle

      It's Sunday morning.

      Not a hollow victory. I thought about it, good enough. Ha.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:00 am |
      • RichardHead

        "Sup Biyatch? You gonna be in Monday? Got all these chocolate milk cartons ready.

        November 21, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  6. Truth

    "Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down."

    Two words: Kelly Choi. Preferably in a bathing suit (or less...;)

    November 19, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
    • DotDotDot

      Kelly Choi is funny looking! She almost ruins Top Chef Masters. That face is painful to look at when she talks.

      November 21, 2010 at 3:04 am |
  7. Truth@Jdizz, RichHead, Biddle, Jerv

    hollow victory if Jdizz is unemployed on Monday. Best to you and may the weekend bring some peace of mind...

    November 19, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
    • RichardHead

      It's Not revenge he is after,it's a reckonning-"Doc Holiday"

      November 20, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  8. Sir Biddle via the train

    First on and its a dude!

    November 19, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  9. Truth

    I don't wanna hit that...!

    November 19, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
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