Preparing a Healthy Thanksgiving Meal

By: Jummy Olabanji
By: Jummy Olabanji

November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving is a day many throw caution to wind, and eat until they’re full....and then eat some more.

If a healthier Thanksgiving meal is what you crave, don't think you're going to have to get rid of any of the good stuff.

A few key items are all you need to cut out the fat and make your meal more fit.

Dietitian Viola Holmes says it's possible to have a Thanksgiving meal with half the fat.

We joined her at a local grocery store so she could prove it.

She suggests what types of food to prepare to ensure that your body is getting the right vitamins; giving you proper energy.

"Do fresh vegetables. There are also frozen veggies available; canned veggies too. Just make sure that there's a focus on vegetables. Sometimes we have the same vegetables at holidays, so maybe try something different. Roasting instead of mashing,” said Holmes.

Holmes also gave insight on how to properly cook your turkey, or other meat.

She says, "Most of the meats now, we are going to be roasting for Thanksgiving. Which is great. Make sure on your roasting pan you have a wire rack under it, so that the fats will drip down.”

Another tip? To prepare your foods, use extras that are low in fat, low in sugar, and low in sodium.

She gave helpful insight into picking the right oils to cook with.

"If a fat’s solid at room it means it has more saturated fats. So try replacing the solid fats with more liquid oils,” said Holmes.

She also said to stay away trans fats.

Holmes said, "Trans fats have gone through a process called hydrogenation. So, they are oils, it might be a soybean oil, however through the process hydrogen has been added and so it's actually more of a solid fat.”

She also said that in most cases, people can't tell the difference between regular products and fat-free ones. Experts also suggest not skipping breakfast and taking a walk after eating dinner: something that will help boost your metabolism and maintain your current weight.

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