Top Swaps for Thanksgiving

According to the Calorie Control Council, the average American will consume 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat on Thanksgiving day, a feat worthy of competitive eating accolades on any other day. But that doesn't mean you can't stuff your face without testing the fortitude of your new designer jeans. We imagine you'll want turkey. Cranberry sauce. Potatoes, sure. Gravy. Maybe some veggies on the side. Oh, and pie? Yeah, go for it! But just by making a couple of smart at-the-table swaps you could eat to your heart's content and still take in 700 fewer calories than you did last year. Now that's something to be thankful for!

1 Dark turkey meat (4 0z) with jellied cranberry sauce (1/2-inch slice)

410 calories
10 g fat
(4 g satured)
320 mg sodium

Dark meat is about twice as fatty as white meat. Homemade cranberry sauce cuts the sugar by a considerable amount.

Eat This Instead!

Turkey breast (4 oz) with homemade cranberry sauce (2 Tbsp)

195 calories
4 g fat
265 mg sodium

2 Stuffing (1/2 cup)

175 calories
14 g fat
(6 g saturated)
420 mg sodium

Stuffing is nothing more than a pile of croutons moistened with fat and loaded with sodium. Double this number if it was cooked inside the bird. A fresh grean bean casserole with sautéed onions is a much healthier alternative—just make sure you ditch the cream of mushroom soup.

Eat This Instead!

Green bean casserole (1/2)

100 calories
6 g fat (1 g saturated)
300 mg sodium

3 Candied sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping

250 calories
8 g fat (5 g saturated)
270 mg sodium

Sweet potatoes lose their nutritional edge once they're covered in marshmallows. Mashed potatoes with low-fat milk and a light dollop of butter is the best way to eat your spuds.

Eat This Instead!

Mashed potatoes (1/2) cup with turkey gravy (1/4 cup)

140 calories
7 g fat (2 g saturated)
340 mg sodium

4 Cornbread with butter

190 calories
9 g fat (4 g saturated)
360 mg sodium

Sweeter, saltier, and fatter than a regular roll. With a regular roll, a small pat of butter helps lower the glycemic index of the roll, meaning the carbs will have less of an effect on blood sugar.

Eat This Instead!

Dinner roll with butter

130 calories
5 g fat (2 g saturated)
210 mg sodium

5 Pecan pie (1 medium slice, 1/6 pie)

450 calories
21 g fat (4 g saturated)
70 g sugars

The healthy fat from the pecans is not enough to justify the extra load of corn syrup calories. In the pantheon of pies, pumpkin ranks among one of the lower-calorie slices.

Eat This Instead!

Pumpkin pie with low-fat whipped cream (1 medium slice, 1/6 pie)

335 calories
15 g fat (6.5 g saturated)
38 g sugars

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