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Healthy Options for Thanksgiving Dishes

Families across the United States and Canada come together each year for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

This is a time for reconnecting with relatives and friends close and afar, to be thankful for each other, and a time when most eat until they feel almost as stuffed as the roast turkey.

The table is usually loaded down with a fairly large turkey. Often a spiral ham will available for those who don’t eat poultry.

Other high calorie dishes are green beans with bacon and new potatoes, sweet potatoes with melted butter and brown sugar topped with marshmallows, sugar laden cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, homemade noodles or dumplings, hot rolls with butter, and pumpkin and pecan pie for dessert.

To avoid the inevitable weight gain that comes with the celebratory dinner, there are appetizing low calorie healthy options for Thanksgiving dishes.

Nobody needs to give up the traditional foods they eat on Thanksgiving, because simply adding in a few low calorie substitutions will prevent packing on those extra pounds. For example, take only a sampling of each of the foods that are high in calories, and fill up on the lower calorie entries.

An appealing substitution for the high fat sweet potato bake is to combine mashed sweet potatoes with orange juice, cinnamon and a little ginger and brown sugar. Heat and serve or bake until browned on top. Pumpkin pie is a high fiber food but loaded with sugar and calories. To prepare a reduced sugar and fat version, substitute half the sugar with Splenda, use fat free evaporated milk, and omit the crust. Although pecan pie is high in calories, the fiber content from the nuts is so high, one slice of this rich dessert satisfies the palate without having to change a thing.

Of course, the golden brown roast turkey is the main focus of the Thanksgiving day meal and is commonly stuffed before being placed into the oven. This causes the stuffing to absorb the fatty juices of the turkey as it cooks. A better choice would be to prepare the stuffing separately by combining chestnuts, pecans, brown rice, cranberries, and seasoned bread crumbs with a can of low sodium fat free turkey broth. Bake in a 13×9 inch baking pan until brown and crispy for a flavorful, aromatic substitution to the fatty original.

A great appetizer to begin the meal and perhaps prevent overeating is to set out a plate of fresh crudités and dip. Low fat ranch dressing with carrot sticks, celery stalks, broccoli trees, and fresh cherry tomatoes are popular choices for a low calorie nutritional appetizer. Relax, partake of all the favorites, enjoy the conversation and simply add the lower calorie versions for those who prefer it.

This is a guest post.

Alyssa DeAlto holds a B.A in Journalism and currently writes for eDrugstore.MD, a safe online facilitator for Viagra online and other safe FDA-approved medications such as Propecia for hair loss.  Alyssa uses her journalism skills to cover big pharma news she shares on the eDrugstore.MD Health Blog.

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