As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, many of us are reviewing the recipes for our family’s favorite foods for the upcoming feast. It is an appropriate time to take a hard look at some of the dishes that might be on your menu. Although you might still choose to cook them, at least you will know the truth behind some of their healthy reputations.
1. Stuffed potatoes! Don’t blame the potatoes! They are full of healthy fiber and vitamin C. However, just add cheese, butter, salt, sour cream and bacon bits, and this harmless sidedish collects 316 calories! This is not the giant restaurant style baker, but a medium size, average potato. With its added stuffing, the potato packs a weighty 8.25 grams of saturated fat. That is half of your daily recommended upper limit of saturated fat!
You could use low-fat ingredients to dress your potatoes, or substitute roast sweet potatoes. A sweet potato has half the calories, unless you drown it in cinnamon sugar sauce!
2. Green Beans Casserole! Wrapped in the healthy reputation of green beans, this popular recipe reveals butter, cheese, salt, and fried onions. “One full batch has 785 calories and 4,128 milligrams of sodium. You probably won’t take the entire dish for yourself, but it’s still important to watch your portion size.”
3. Croissants! Hidden in the spiraled layers of this beloved bread are sugar, salt, and butter. Research reveals 310 calories and 18 grams of total fat. Nutrition? Almost none! There are thousands of healthier bread choices! Just check out our friends’ recipes at Elana’s Kitchen.
3. Glazed Ham! You have seen the 97% fat free, lean Ham, and possibly brought it home. You were delighted to discover that it can actually be considered a lean meat. The reputation of ham is tarnished when it is cured with salt and glazed with sugar. The truth behind the delicious taste is that six ounces equals 1,760 milligrams of sodium, and 6 grams of sugar. Do not blame the ham. Blame the recipe, the glaze, the curing process, and the sauce.
4. Mashed potatoes! The classic mashed potato recipe, with whole milk, butter, and salt will only cost your diners 237 calories, 9 grams of fat, and 666 milligrams of sodium, but this is before they add salt, butter, or gravy at the table.
This list of four is based partly on information from this excellent source, where you can discover the truth behind 50 different, much loved family holiday foods. At that same source, you can find alternative recipes.
At the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine, we do not expect you and your family to abstain from their holiday treats, but we humbly request that you consider two ideas:
1. Try adding one new, healthy recipe to each holiday meal, each year. We believe that some day, your family will be thankful you did! Please visit this special site for inspiration concerning healthy holiday recipes!
2. Try to suggest a little portion control. It’s true that this time of year encourages overeating.
There can be no better time for The Center For Natural and Integrative Medicine to send you good wishes for Thanksgiving from our doctors and staff.
We send Thanksgiving Greetings to our patients, and their families, and to all our friends, in Florida, across the United States, and around the world.
An Inspirational Quote For You:
Love has no desire but to fulfill itself
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.
By Kahlil Gibran