Thanksgiving Day is the time of year we should be thankful for family, friends, good health, and great food. But it is also when plates are usually piled high with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, desserts, and much more. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving Day menus are filled with sugar, fat, and sodium, all of which are bad for your heart.
Rest assured, you can create a heart-healthy menu by following a few simple tips, and you won’t have to sacrifice great food. The key is to cut back on cholesterol. You can check with your local heart doctor in the Lafayette, LA area to find out more on how to eat healthier this Thanksgiving Day.
Tips to a Heart-Healthy Thanksgiving Menu
- Use a low-fat chicken broth for the gravy.
- Skip the butter on vegetables and eat them fresh. But if you need to add flavor, add vinegar instead.
- Before cooking the turkey, remove the skin so that it is less fattening.
- Use whole grain bread for a healthier version of stuffing.
- Green bean casserole. Use low-fat milk instead of canned soup.
- Cranberry sauce. Add natural sugar in place of refined sugar.
- Heavy cream. Replace the cream with low-fat milk.
- White flour. Use whole wheat flour as the healthier choice for flour.
A good rule of thumb is that when it is time to eat, start with the healthy foods first. Do not move on to the richer foods until you have eaten the healthy ones first. This will make you feel fuller faster and help you resist the urge for seconds or even want the less than healthy foods. Following a few simple rules during your Thanksgiving Day meal will help you avoid eating too much unhealthy food.
Tips to Help Stay Healthy During Thanksgiving Day
- Survey the table. Before you fill your plate, look over the table and select healthier food choices that are high in fiber. This will make you feel fuller quicker.
- Start with the greens. Ideally, you should have a salad before the main meal, but if there is no salad, then fill your plate with vegetables instead.
- Manage portion control. It is wiser to take a little bit of everything instead of large servings of just a few things. Doing this will not only expand your palette, but it will help you to fill up quickly.
- Eat slowly. A good tip to remember is to put your fork down between bites and taste each mouthful. This will help you to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate full of food.
- Take a break. Taking frequent breaks from eating to stretch your legs and enjoy the outdoors is a healthy way to prevent you from overeating.
- Make water a priority. This will also help fill you up quickly, so keep a pitcher of water near you for refills. If you are enjoying holiday drinks, match each drink with a glass of water.
As hectic as Thanksgiving Day can be, it is important to remember not to let it overwhelm you. Take time out for yourself to relax and unwind once or twice a day. Make sure to get enough sleep since this is closely linked to your heart health.
Remember, Thanksgiving is not just about the delicious foods we eat. It is about celebrating our family and friends. Staying healthy to enjoy the relationships that matter should be important enough to eat healthily.
Healthier Food Suggestions to Consider for Your Festive Food Table
- Pumpkin soup.
- Wild rice mushroom soup.
- Apple salad with figs and almonds.
- Salad greens with pears, fennel, and walnuts.
- Herb rubbed turkey au jus.
- Roasted turkey with balsamic sauce.
- Glazed turkey breast with fruit stuffing.
- Low-fat turkey gravy.
- Wild rice or quinoa stuffing.
- Honey glazed sweet potatoes.
- Cauliflower mashed potatoes.
- Sweet carrots.
- Holiday green beans casserole.
- Brussels sprouts with shallots and lemon.
- Best honey whole wheat bread.
- Apple corn muffins.
- Pumpkin hazelnut tea cake.
- Sweet potato and squash pie.
If you or a loved one is experiencing heart problems, contact CT Cardio at 337-234-3163. We have been serving patients for over two decades in Lafayette, LA, and surrounding areas. Dr. Corwin A. Thomas and his staff are trained to deal with an array of heart conditions and problems.
If you would like to learn more about eating healthy this Thanksgiving Day, contact Dr. Thomas, the heart doctor to know, at CT Cardio today.
Remember, the only thing that needs to be stuffed on Thanksgiving Day is the turkey.