For food lovers, sometimes ironically referred to as foodies but sometimes not, have a special gratitude for Thanksgiving. The food line-up for a typical Thanksgiving includes but certainly not limited to turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, greens, and more. While most of these foods involve vegetables, they would not be categorized as “healthy”. However, there are a number of Thanksgiving foods that are good for you and hold more benefits than a typical person would think. This post will discuss some of the benefits of healthy Thanksgiving alternatives, and some eye-opening statistics.
That’s Billons With A “B”
Some of the craziest statics around Thanksgiving come from the amount of food Americans consume each year. During the holiday, Americans eat around 1.4 billion, yes billion, pounds of turkey. Of course, turkey is not the only food we consume on Thanksgiving, in fact, the average person consumes 2,500 and 4,500 calories. For reference, the daily recommended caloric intake for women is 1,600-2,400 and 2,000-3,000 for men. This means the average person is meeting and exceeding their caloric intake in a single meal during Thanksgiving. Despite this fact, people rarely gain significant weight during the holiday season, but if you’re feeling a bit heavy after eating consider some family activities.
Preparing Healthy Thanksgiving Options: Reducing Sugar
In order to have a healthy thanksgiving, there are more than a few ingredients to stay away from. Whether it’s pies, cookies, or some other dish, there is no shortage of sugar during the holidays. While some sugar is ok, adding sugar to so many individual dishes is quite unhealthy. Instead, experts Chef’s recommend cutting a quarter of the sugar out, which should not affect the taste too much. Additionally, some people swap mashed up a banana for added sugar, with 2 tablespoons of banana for every one tablespoon of sugar called for. Sugar plays a large role in hypertension and high blood pressure in general.
Similar to sugar, sodium tends to find its way into every dish during Thanksgiving dinner. And similar to sugar, sodium plays a large role in high blood pressure. So, in order to reduce sodium intake over the holidays, folks should consider some alternatives. If you buy gravy powder to prepare at home, go for the low-sodium ones, and instead of canned veggies go for frozen or fresh. Canned foods, in general, have a higher sodium count but if you have to use it, go for the low-sodium products. You won’t miss out on taste and you’ll be doing your health a favor. Some people prefer a holiday ham over a turkey, but cured hams hold a large amount of sodium as well. Instead, look for low-sodium or unsalted products to make your Thanksgiving a healthy one.
Easy On The EggNog
Despite eggnog being more of a Christmas drink, many people break into it during Thanksgiving, possibly due to the presence of family. Sure, we all enjoy a cup or two to make it a happy Thanksgiving, but excess drinking never leads to anything good. If you know you’re not the type of person to stop at just one or two, consider not even starting. You won’t have a hangover, you won’t be tempted to eat more, and you’ll have your wits if you are driving later. No one needs a DUI during the holiday, yet statistics show the opposite. Be smart this year, and have yourself a safe and healthy Thanksgiving.