Food Fight!: Eat This, Not That This Thanksgiving

Growing up, food fights often landed you in trouble. But when it comes to preventing calorie overload on Turkey Day, comparing favorite dishes side by side can help eaters head to the dinner table armed and ready for a healthy Thanksgiving. May the best spud win.

Related Content: Top Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving 

Light Meat vs. Dark Meat

healthy thanksgiving

Light meat has fewer calories and less fat than dark. image: evgenyb

According to the Department of Agriculture, an ounce of only light turkey meat contains about 45 calories/1 gram of fat, compared with 50 calories/2 grams of fat in only dark turkey meat. One can argue that darker meat may have higher stores of iron, nevertheless, it seems as though the general health benefits amount to the same. Just beware of overloading on wings this year, since wings are often the fattiest (albeit perhaps the most delicious) part of poultry.

White Wine vs. Red Wine

This debate has a sparkling ringer

This debate has a sparkling ringer

Hopefully this is the only feud on your Thanksgiving table this year. Generally speaking, one 5-ounce glass of wine amounts to about 120 calories. Red wine boasts health benefits, including the ability to reduce cardiovascular complications if used in moderation. Though red wine is thought to have only slightly less calories than white wine, it also tends to contain less natural sugar and more antioxidants. The minimal amount of carbohydrates in both red and white wine are negligible. For those focused on calories, consider bringing in a ringer: sparkling wine, contains 80 calories per 5-ounce glass. 

Sweet Potatoes vs. Mashed Potatoes

healthy thanksgiving

Sweet potatoes boast Vitamin A. image: hausontheprairie

Sweet potatoes win here. Though they do contain a slightly higher percentage of sugar, they contain less carbohydrates and more protein. The Cleveland Clinic states that sweet potatoes more than satisfy your daily amount of vitamin A and have more vitamin C and fiber than regular white potatoes. Each cup of white potatoes contain 1.8 grams of fiber, while the same amount of sweet potatoes contain 4 grams of fiber. Another unfortunate drawback to your delicious Thanksgiving garlic mashed potatoes: many recipes call for extra cream, butter and olive oil in addition to white potatoes. 

The Last Word

If you can’t bring yourself to skip on mashed potatoes, then don’t. Thanksgiving only comes once a year and the gym will be waiting for you the next day.

Come back to tomorrow for a post-Thanksgiving workout that will help you banish bloat. 

dr. uruj kamal

dr. uruj kamal

Dr. Uruj Kamal is Chief Resident of Adult Outpatient Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center-University of Massachusetts Medical School. A Stony Brook native, she enjoys combining her knowledge of mental health with healthy living. Dr. Kamal has a special interest in outpatient adult psychiatry.