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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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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.