Americans love Thanksgiving, and we show it by piling our plates high with turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and other holiday staples. And for many Americans’ Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday.
The average number of dinner guests for Thanksgiving dinner is eleven!
Americans consume between 2,500 and 4,500 calories at the Thanksgiving table. That’s the equivalent of eating between four and eight Big Macs in a single sitting, and significantly above our daily recommended calorie intake. We reached out to Georgia Giannopoulos, RD-AP, CDN, CNSC, manager of health & well-being at New York-Presbyterian, shares tips for a few tips for a healthy Thanksgiving:
Take a Trot: Go for a walk, turkey trot, or bicycle ride outdoors on Thanksgiving morning if the weather is nice. If your physical activity is limited, consider sitting outside for a few minutes or sitting by a window to enjoy the fall foliage.
Pack a Snack: If you are traveling, bring healthy snacks with you for the road and/or plane to save time (and money) and ensure that you do not have to go long periods of time without food.
Substitute Salt: To reduce the amount of sodium in recipes, use herbs and spices instead of salt. For example, parsley, rosemary, thyme and/or sage pair well with turkey.
Counting Carbs: For fewer carbohydrates, opt for a baked sweet potato instead of marsh-mallowed sweet potatoes, which are often made with added brown sugar.
Watch the Labels: When it comes to foods that may have been sitting in the refrigerator or pantry for too long, be mindful of food safety guidelines. No one wants to get food poisoning any day, especially on a holiday! Not sure if a food is still safe to eat? Check the expiration date, and when in doubt, throw it out.
What if I’m a Vegetarian?: Many of the Bs and Cs are in season in November, and make wonderful additions to a Thanksgiving meal including broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and three of my favorites: beets, brussels sprouts and collard greens.
Gluten-Free Options: Thanksgiving staples like turkey, sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts are naturally gluten-free, but sometimes they’re mixed with gluten-containing ingredients or prepped in a kitchen where there’s cross-contamination. For a safe gluten-free option, bring your favorite gluten-free dish to share!
Bonus tip- If having guests to your home, be sure that people follow the steps that everyone can take to make Thanksgiving safer.
Its a common myth that people gain an average of five pounds from Thanksgiving, but the truth of holiday weight gain is that it’s not that much. People do gain weight during the holidays, but for most it is less than a pound according to a 2015 study in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Thanksgiving is a time to share with family and friends, so don’t stress just enjoy the day!