If you think of Thanksgiving dinner as a bit of a calorie-bomb, you're not wrong. The average Thanksgiving meal is around 2,800 calories. Yikes! Interested in opting for healthy choices this Thanksgiving? Here are the healthiest foods you can load up on Turkey Day:
Three ounces of white meat only contains 115 calories. Plus, it's a great source of protein -- one serving has 26 grams of protein. It's also packed with iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Make sure to eat the white meat without the skin on and skip the gravy.
2. Kale salad
Always start your Thanksgiving meal with a salad. It'll help you feel more satisfied because of all the fiber and protein without consuming a ton of calories. One serving of kale salad only has 150 calories and six grams of fat with one tablespoon of dressing.
3. Roasted green beans
Green beans are a low-calorie vegetable that's rich in fiber and contain an array of nutrients, such as vitamins A and C. Each cup only has 65 calories and 5 grams of fat. Avoid any green bean casseroles, which are loaded with calories and fat.
4. Mashed potatoes
When made with the right ingredients, mashed potatoes can be a healthy choice. If they're made with butter and whole milk, one serving of mashed potatoes contains about 237 calories and 9 grams of fat. But, if you substitute non-fat milk and cauliflower for half of the potatoes, you'll lose 100 calories and 8 grams of fat.
5. Roasted Brussels sprouts
A one-half cup serving of Brussels sprouts has 136 calories and 7 grams of fat. They're filling, nutritious, and tasty. Plus, this cruciferous vegetable is packed with vitamins A, C, and K, as well as dietary fiber and potassium.
6. Sweet potatoes
One medium sweet potato has only 112 calories. A powerhouse vegetable, sweet potatoes are high in vitamins A and C, and they also contain phytochemicals like beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
7. Wild rice
Often used in stuffing, wild rice contains 160 calories per cup. It's chewy and nutty, and wild rice has fewer carbs and more protein than brown rice.
What about Thanksgiving desserts?
When it comes to choosing desserts, you should stick with either pumpkin pie or apple crisp. One serving of pumpkin pie contains a reasonable 323 calories and 13 grams of fat, whereas one serving of apple crisp only has 228 calories and 5 grams of fat per half-cup serving. Whatever you do, steer clear of pecan pie -- one slice has around a whopping 500 calories and 27 grams of fat.