weight loss
BY: LBL Team

12 Thanksgiving Foods Ranked From Healthiest to Least Healthy

Which Thanksgiving foods are healthy?

Some Thanksgiving foods are less nutritious than others. Want to eat healthier this Thanksgiving? Here are 12 Thanksgiving foods ranked from healthiest to least healthy:

1. Cooked spinach

One cup of cooked spinach contains around 40 calories, making it the healthiest Thanksgiving food option. It also includes 5 grams of protein and tons of vitamins and minerals. But be careful of how cooked spinach is prepared — additions, like cheese and butter, can bring down its nutritional value.

2. Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are filled with protein and contain vitamins K and C, and one cup has just under 60 calories. Starting your Thanksgiving meal with Brussels sprouts will help keep cravings in check. As with most foods, be mindful of how you prepare them. Roasting Brussels sprouts with olive oil will increase their fat and calorie content.

3. Gravy

Traditional gravy has around 60 calories per half cup. It can be a tasty way to flavor your food without consuming too much fat. Refrigerate gravy before serving, and then skim off the fat that solidifies on top to bring the fat count down to around 2 or 3 grams per serving.

4. Green bean casserole

Green bean casserole, a Thanksgiving staple, contains about 100 calories and 8 grams of fat per 2/3 cup portion. Luckily, it doesn’t contain as much fat and sodium as other Thanksgiving foods.

5. Cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce has around 100 calories and 22 grams of sugar per 1/4 cup serving. It’s fat-free and has a lot of health benefits compared to other Thanksgiving foods, but it still has a higher sugar content to be aware of.

6. Turkey breast

White meat turkey breast has fewer calories and less fat than dark meat. 3.5 ounces of white turkey breast without skin has around 130 calories, 2 grams of fat, and 30 grams of protein. Don’t feel guilty loading up on it!

7. Biscuits

Biscuits contain approximately 200 calories each. To lower the fat and calorie content, you can use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream in the recipe.

8. Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes made with whole milk and butter have almost 250 calories and 10 grams of fat per one cup serving. But mashed potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B, potassium, magnesium, and iron. By making mashed potatoes with only whole milk and leaving out the butter, you can save 75 calories and several grams of fat per serving.

9. Sweet potato casserole

Sweet potato casserole contains around 300 calories and 20 grams of fat per one-cup serving. Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene as well as other vitamins and minerals. You can make this classic casserole healthier by eliminating butter and instead using coconut milk.

10. Pumpkin pie

A slice of pumpkin pie has approximately 300 calories and 15 grams of fat, plus added sugar. Pumpkin is packed with fiber and nutrients, but all the added sugar and cream put it more on the unhealthy side. Enjoy this iconic dessert in moderation.

11. Stuffing

Traditional stuffing contains around 400 calories and 25 grams of fat per cup. You can reduce calories and fat by cooking the stuffing in a separate dish outside the turkey. You can also make it healthier using whole wheat bread instead of white bread.

12. Apple pie

Apple pie contains roughly 400 calories and 20 grams of fat per slice, making it on the less healthy side. But it’s a quintessential Thanksgiving dessert. Looking forward to indulging in apple pie could help you to make wiser choices when it comes to Thanksgiving foods, such as loading up on Brussels sprouts instead of stuffing.

  1. “15 Classic Thanksgiving Foods, Ranked From Best to Worst for Your Weight,” Reader’s Digest, n.d.
  2. “Best and Worst Thanksgiving Foods,” Eating Well, n.d.
  3. “The Healthiest (and Least Healthy) Thanksgiving Foods,” Glamour, November 23, 2016.
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