You'd don't have to sacrifice flavor to trim calories and fat from your Thanksgiving feast.Does Thanksgiving have you loosening your belt before the pumpkin pie is served? You're not alone: The average American gobbles a whopping 3,500 calories on Turkey Day. These eight steps will save you more than 2,000 calories and put a healthy spin on the feast.
1. Ask for white meat. Turkey breast is super lean: just 44 calories, 1 gram of fat, and no saturated fat per skinless ounce (yep, leave the skin behind). Plus, the big bird is a great source of iron, zinc, potassium, and B vitamins.
2. Make low-fat gravy. It's easy to slash the fat in traditional gravy. Pour the drippings from the roasting pan into a measuring cup, and pop it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. The fat will rise to the top so you can skim it away and use the tasty juices to make your gravy.
3. Stuff the bird with whole grains. Try the slightly nutty flavor of quinoa, wild rice pilaf, bulgur, or even barley. You won't save calories, but you'll gain iron, magnesium, selenium, B vitamins, antioxidants, and loads of satisfying fiber so you're less inclined to overindulge.
4. Make your own cranberry sauce.Homemade cranberry sauce trumps the canned stuff for flavor and nutrition. Cranberries are chock-full of antioxidants. But skip the canned sauces, which are jammed with added sugar (about 44 grams and 170 calories per inch-thick slice). Instead, try this easy fresh Pear Cranberry Sauce for only 80 calories per one-third cup.
6. Stick with sweet potatoes. Golden sweet potatoes have twice the fiber of standard spuds. They're also a great source of vitamin A and manganese, a mineral that helps your body metabolize fat and carbohydrates. Try this light yet indulgent Meringue-Topped Sweet Potato Casserole.
8. Save room for pie. Faced with a dessert buffet? Choose wisely. A slice of traditional pumpkin pie has 316 calories, compared to apple (411) or pecan (503). You can trim another 125 calories and 7 grams of fat by forgoing the crust - if you must.
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