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Thanksgiving Plate Can Be a Nutritional Powerhouse

Today's traditional American feast can leave some people wallowing in guilt for their overindulgence. But maybe there's no need for guilt. A typical Thanksgiving plate is loaded with some nutritional powerhouses.

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Let’s start with the turkey. You love dark meat, but you always skip it because you’re under the impression white meat is healthier.  Not true- says MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando Registered Dietitian Dawn Napoli.

“So I always recommend people do a mixture of white and dark meat, the white meat’s a little lower in fat but the dark meat is going to give you more iron, more zinc more B vitamins, so you’re going to get a little more bang for your buck in there,” she says.

She says sweet potatoes are a Vitamin A superstar and are also high in fiber- so they’re a great choice as long as they’re not made with lots of fat and topped with marshmallows. Feel free to go for lots of greens, as long as you skip the green bean casserole which Napoli says is loaded with fat. Mushroom gravy? Great source of Vitamin D, and the fat in the gravy will actually help you absorb the Vitamin D. And be generous with the cranberry sauce- as long as it’s homemade.

“Cranberries are awesome, they are great antioxidant power, but we want the whole cranberry, so those jellied cranberry sauces, they’ve stripped the skins which strips a lot of the fiber, and a lot of the meat that’s inside the cranberry, so you’re left with a lot of sugar,” she says.

Napoli says you can even find some nutritional value in dessert- both pumpkin and apple pie can be nutritional powerhouses, as long as you skip the naughty toppings. 


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