The Sensible Sides: Your Favorite Thanksgiving Dishes Healthily Revisited

For some people, Thanksgiving is all about family. For others it’s about gratitude. For many, it’s all about the food. And if you’re really lucky, it’s a combination of everything. And while you might go into your Thanksgiving meal with the best intentions to be healthy, it’s pretty hard when a massive pie or bowl of mashed potatoes is staring you in the face. Which is why your best bet is to prepare a healthy Thanksgiving menu filled with nutritious and lightened-up options that taste as good as you remember, but with less fat and way less guilt.

We already established the healthiest way to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey is to roast it, and now it’s time to tackle the side dishes. Because let’s be real, those side dishes are often the stars of the show.

The bad news is the many of us (guilty) eat way more than we realize on Thanksgiving. In fact, the Calorie Control Council reports that “the average American may consume more than 4,500 calories and a whopping 229 grams of fat during a typical holiday gathering” such as your Thanksgiving meal. Think about that – 4,500 calories. That is way more than double what a healthy adult is supposed to consume throughout an entire day, and we’re only talking about one meal. Yikes.

The good news is that you don’t have to skip Thanksgiving dinner or starve yourself to stay on track with your diet. You simply need to serve, prepare and consume healthier options at your holiday meal. Think of it as a low-fat Thanksgiving that is a happy balance between treating yourself and taking care of yourself.

So how do you do it? Well for starters, you can watch your portion size. Fill up more surface area on your plate with the healthier dishes and limit your intake of foods that are higher in fat, calories and sugar. Before you go back for seconds, drink some water and let your stomach rest to assess just how hungry you really are. And of course, make sure you serve a healthy Thanksgiving menu with options for everyone.

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