Thanksgiving: Don’t Let it Get Your Waistline!

Bunch of fresh cranberries

THANKSGIVING: Don’t Let it Get Your Waistline!

A few smart substitutions can help you stave off extra pounds this holiday season. Dietitians with the University of Texas Southwestern Allied Health Science School suggest the following.

  • Use broth for sauteing instead of butter to save 104 calories per tablespoon.
  • Substitute 1/3-cup mayonnaise and 1/3-cup non-fat plain yogurt for 2/3-cup mayonnaise (480 calories saved).
  • Use plain non-fat yogurt in place of cream (720 calories saved per cup.)
  • Eat skinless chicken (360 calories saved per bird).

The Thanksgiving Side Dish that Helps Beat Cancer

Cranberries pack a powerful nutrition punch! The USDA scientists say cranberries are a great source of resveratrol, a prime target of research into natural cancer fighters. Resveratrol has shown promise against tumor cells in test tubes. Resveratrol slowed the sprouting of the extra blood vessels that help tumors grow and allow cancer cells to spread. Because cranberry skins contain the most resveratrol, choose the whole-berry type of cranberry sauce for your side dish this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Cranberries
Thanksgiving Cranberries

 Cranberry Sauce

Sweet-sour cranberry sauce, or cranberry jelly, was on the first Thanksgiving table and is still served today. The Indians used the fruit to treat infections. They used the juice to dye their rugs and blankets. Did you know that before the berries are put in bags to be shipped, each individual berry must bounce at least four inches high to make sure they are not too ripe?

Fat Fact

Did you know that the average weight gain on Thanksgiving is a little over a pound? That may not seem like much, but according to the National Institutes of Health, most adults keep the weight on. Over the years, it can lead to significant weight gain. Visit our Thanksgiving Recipes and see if you can’t find some recipes to trim things down this year.

The Healthy Olive

The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to its monounsaturated fatty acids and its antioxidants. Research has demonstrated that it protects against heart disease by controlling LDL (“bad”) cholesterol while increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

Olive oil has a beneficial effect on ulcers and gastritis, activates the secretion of bile and pancreatic hormones, and lowers the incidence of gallstone formation. If you’re using olive oil for health reasons, you want to purchase extra virgin, oil. It is less processed and contains higher levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamin E and phenols. One important note: if you’re frying or sauteing food, use another oil. Excessive heat may cause olive oil to change into a trans fat,  negating most of its health benefits.

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing

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