Trim your Thanksgiving meal with these 5 tips

Thanksgiving dinner

Cassie Smith

It’s difficult to eat healthy on Thanksgiving, not only because you may tend to overeat, but because traditional dishes are often loaded with calories. Obesity is linked to at least 13 types of cancer, so it’s important to eat well and maintain a healthy weight―even during the holidays. We’re sharing five ways you can still enjoy your favorite flavors this Thanksgiving—with a healthy twist.  

Start with a salad. Begin Thanksgiving dinner with an autumn salad, like this butternut squash kale salad. A salad helps fill you up and limits your desire for heavy carbs while adding more nutrients to your meal.

Skip the gravy. Gravy is typically made with fat remnants from roasted turkey combined with flour and butter, so there aren’t any health benefits to be found. Mix it up with mushroom gravy or top your turkey with cranberry sauce to add moisture and flavor. Speaking of cranberry sauce…

Make homemade cranberry sauce. Cranberries are a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, but canned cranberry sauce can be high in calories and sugar. Making your own cranberry sauce is easy and you can sweeten it naturally with honey or agave syrup.

Roast your sweet potatoes. Sweet potato casserole is a Thanksgiving favorite in many families, but it’s packed with sugar. Try this instead―cut sweet potatoes into bite-sized cubes, toss with olive oil, season with cinnamon, cumin or paprika (or a mix of the three if you’re adventurous!), and roast in the oven at 425 for about 30 minutes. You won’t miss the marshmallows!

Serve mashed cauliflower instead of potatoes. Cauliflower is having a moment as a healthier substitute in many carb-heavy foods like pizza, mac and cheese and fried rice. It’s also a great replacement for mashed potatoes. Even better, this recipe doesn’t require any cream or milk (use less butter or substitute with olive oil).   

Follow these tips, add in a pre-meal workout or walk, and you’ll be able to indulge in that piece of pecan pie guilt-free!