Tip of the Week: Thanksgiving Food Swaps to Save Calories
may be the day to ditch your diet and indulge in your favorite holiday
foods, but making a few simple changes to your holiday menu can actually
save you up to 2,000 calories - without skimping on the flavor.
The average American will consume 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving according to the Calorie Control Council,
which found that 3,000 calories come from an indulgent turkey dinner
alone while another 1,500 calories can be attributed to hors d'oeuvres
and boozy beverages.
a few ingredients swaps will ensure that you will enjoy all of your
favorite foods while still being able to button your pants on Black
Friday. An infographic from the calorie-counting app My Fitness Pal
shows that that slightly altering your Thanksgiving menu can help you
save hundreds - or even thousands - of calories this year.
Great idea: Calorie-counting app and website My Fitness Pal has created
an handy infographic featuring Thanksgiving holiday food swaps. Trading
dark turkey meat for some turkey breast will save you 50 calories
Secret recipe: One cup of mashed potatoes made with two per cent milk,
nonfat Greek yogurt, and three tablespoons butter has 108 calories less
than traditional recipes
flavor: One fourth a cup of traditional gravy made from turkey
drippings, which has 131 calories and 9g of fat, can easily be swapped
for one four a cup of prepared low-sodium gravy mix
Swap dark meat for white meat
turkey meat has nearly twice the fat of white turkey breast and about
40 per cent more calories. Replacing three ounces of dark turkey meat
and skin, which has 147 calories and 5g of fat, with a three ounce
turkey breast with skin will save you 50 calories and 2g of fat.
Swap traditional mashed potatoes for a lighter recipe made with Greek yogurt
potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple that is almost as common turkey, but
traditional recipes include mounds of heavy cream and butter.
a cup of homestyle mashed potatoes has 220 calories and 18g of fat, a
similar recipe made with two per cent milk, nonfat plain Greek yogurt,
and only three tablespoons of butter has only 112 calories and 6g of
Swap Greek yogurt for sour cream when making dip
Greek yogurt in place of sour cream is another great way to save
calories when making Thanksgiving appetizers. While an ounce of sour
cream has appropriately 54 calories, the same amount of plain nonfat
Greek yogurt has about 16 calories.
Knowing that you are saving 38 calories per serving will make anyone feel better about going in for another scoop of dip.
Swap traditional gravy for low-sodium gravy mix
While it is undoubtedly delicious, adding a few ladles of gravy to your plate is an easy way to rack of the calories.
fourth a cup of traditional gravy made from turkey drippings, which has
131 calories and 9g of fat, can easily be swapped for one four a cup of
prepared low-sodium gravy mix.
And the subtle trade will save you 106 calories and 8g of fat.
Swap classic sweet potato casserole for a baked sweet potato
potatoes covered in marshmallows are another Thanksgiving favorite,
however, a cup of the classic casserole packs 558 calories and 9g of
one small baked sweet potato topped with one teaspoon of brown sugar
and one teaspoon of chopped pecans will save you a whopping 420 calories
and one teaspoon of shopped pecans will leave you with 420 calories and
7g of fat that you can save for dessert.
Sugary sweet: Have a baked sweet potato topped with brown sugar and
chopped pecans instead of sweet potato casserole with marshmallows to
save a whopping 420 calories
Family favorite: Green bean casserole made with cream of mushroom soup
and topped with fried onions has 235 calories and 15g of fat per cup,
but sauteed green beans with fried onions only have 91 calories
ingredients: Using fat-free buttermilk instead of whole milk and half
the required amount of butter will help you shed 100 calories from your
Swap green bean casserole for sauteed green beans
cup of traditional green bean casserole made with cream of mushroom
soup and topped with fried onions has 235 calories and 15g of fat, but
if you get creative and saute a cup of green beans in one teaspoon of
butter and top it with one tablespoon of fried onions, you save 144
calories and 9g of fat.
Swap traditional cornbread stuffing for a lighter recipe made with fat-free buttermilk
and turkey go hand in hand on Thanksgiving, but one cup of cornbread
stuffing made with whole milk and butter has 470 calories and 17g of
fat. However, one cup of the same stuffing prepared with fat-free
buttermilk and half the butter of the traditional recipe only has 319
calories and 11g of fat.
This clever swap can also be done with other bread stuffing recipes in order to create a healthier side dish.
Healthier option: Swapping canned cranberry sauce for cranberry relish will save on calories and sugar
No-brainer: While one slice of pecan pie has 806 calories and 25g of
fat, a slice of pumpkin has only 265 calories and 9g of fat
Swap canned cranberry sauce for cranberry relish
who love cranberry sauce, but are looking to save on the calories and
sugar that come along with the sweet dish, should consider substituting
cranberry relish for the popular side.
one fourth a cup of canned cranberry sauce has 105 calories and 26g of
sugar, one four a cup of raw cranberry relish has only 67 calories and
12g of sugar.
Swap pecan pie for pumpkin pie
Pecan pie and pumpkin pie are both Thanksgiving favorites, however, one of these desserts is far healthier than the other.
one slice of pecan pie, which has 806 calories and 25g of fat, with one
slice of pumpkin pie will save you a whopping 541 calories and 16g of
only about 265 calories and 9g of fat per slice, pumpkin pie is one of
the few holiday desserts you don't have to feel guilty about.
dessert: A baked apple made with brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and
topped with whipped cream is a healthy replacement for a slice of apple
pie à la mode - which packs 619 calories and 24g of fat
Swap slice of apple pie à la mode with one baked apple topped with whipped cream
apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream is another beloved Thanksgiving
dessert, but one slice paired with one third a cup of ice cream has
approximately 448 calories and 19g of fat.
one baked apple made with one tablespoon brown sugar, one teaspoon of
butter, one teaspoon of cinnamon and topped with one tablespoon of
whipped cream has the same delicious taste with only about a quarter of
The clever substitute only has 171 calories and 5g of fat.
Swap eggnog for apple cider
people to tend to indulge in at least one holiday beverage on
Thanksgiving, but you may want to think twice before filling your glass
with eggnog. One cup of the creamy beverage has 223 calories and 11g of
If you are feeling festive, reach for a glass of apple cider, which only has 120 calories and zero fat per cup.
Swap a glass of wine with a wine spritzer
is another popular alcoholic beverage around the holidays, and if you
think you are going to have more than one glass, you may want to
consider this healthy swap.
your five ounce glass of red or white wine, with three ounces of wine
topped with two ounces of club soda will save you 60 calories and help
you save room for another drink or dessert.
Want to make one of the swaps above? Check out the recipes by clicking "here".