Be a Smart Turkey: Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of the most celebrated holidays amongst Americans. Every culture and creed seems to put its family differences aside to sit down and overindulge.

It may be celebrated differently in every home, but we all go through the same things each year. During your traditional dinner with your non-traditional family you’ll probably find yourself in one of these situations:

Grandpa insisting that you pull his finger… Only resulting in the same thing every year. Being seated at the children’s table despite having monthly mortgage payments. Having your little brother respond to all your questions via text from across the dinner table. Deflecting all questions about your lack of marital status. Knowing that to make your mother truly happy is to eat that 5th serving of mashed potatoes. Uncle Leo passed out at the dinner table mumbling in a tryptophan induced coma.

We can’t help you with every Thanksgiving-related situation, but here are some tips on how to avoid overindulging. Following these steps will help you walk away from the dinner table instead of being rolled away.


  • Don’t starve yourself the day of thanksgiving. Have a smart balanced breakfast that morning.
  • Drink water throughout your meals. It will give you the feeling of fullness.
  • Chewing your food at least 10 times before you swallow will keep you from over eating.
  • Each portion of food should be the size of your fist.
  • Choose a smaller plate. It will give the appearance that your plate is full.

If you are preparing a Thanksgiving dinner for yourself and family, here’s some food for thought – comparing traditional meals with healthy alternatives.

Traditional Meals

Honey-Glazed Turkey
Calories per serving = 663 / Grams of fat = 20

Mashed potatoes with Mayonnaise
Calories per serving = 329 / Grams of fat = 30

Honey Buttered Corn
Calories per serving = 227 / Grams of fat = 16

Peanut Butter Rolls
Calories per serving = 320 / Grams of fat = 9

Sweet Potato Pie
Calories per serving = 370 / Grams of fat = 18


Healthy Alternatives

Herb Roasted Turkey
Calories per serving = 155 / Grams of fat = 5

Yukon Gold & Sweet Potato Mash
Calories per serving = 151 / Grams of fat = 4

Herbed Corn & Edamame Succotash
Calories per serving = 128 / Grams of fat = 4

Soft Whole-Wheat Dinner Rolls
Calories per serving = 154 / Grams of fat = 5

Sweet Potato Pudding
Calories per serving = 122 / Grams of fat = 2

Making healthy choices for Thanksgiving dinner can be smart and satisfying. You can enjoy delicious meals with half the calories. For further information on how to prepare these healthy dishes, visit Discovery Health. MaxWell Medical wants you to EAT HEALTHIER!


Discovery Health

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