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Monday, November 23, 2015

Tip of the Week: Thanksgiving Food Swaps to Save Calories

Thanksgiving 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.
However, 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
Same 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
Dark 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 
Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple that is almost as common turkey, but traditional recipes include mounds of heavy cream and butter. 
While 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 fat. 

Swap Greek yogurt for sour cream when making dip 
Using 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. 
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. 
And the subtle trade will save you 106 calories and 8g of fat. 
Swap classic sweet potato casserole for a baked sweet potato
Sweet potatoes covered in marshmallows are another Thanksgiving favorite, however, a cup of the classic casserole packs 558 calories and 9g of fat. 
Having 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
 Healthier ingredients: Using fat-free buttermilk instead of whole milk and half the required amount of butter will help you shed 100 calories from your stuffing recipe 

Swap green bean casserole for sauteed green beans
One 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 
Stuffing 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  
Those 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.
While 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. 
Swapping 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 fat. 
With 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. 

Decadent 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
Warm 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. 
However, 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 calories. 
The clever substitute only has 171 calories and 5g of fat. 

Swap eggnog for apple cider 
Most 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 fat. 
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 
Wine 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. 
Replacing 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".

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