What Nutritionists Won’t Ever Eat on Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving may just be the only day of the year when people can find any excuse to indulge in their favorite foods. The typical holiday meal is made up of delicious dishes that are usually better when eaten together. But the celebratory dinner ends up being about 3,000 calories or more, which a person happily consumes over the course of few hours. The price they later pay is bloated stomach, uncomfortableness, and possibly weight gain.
“I would avoid at all cost anything that has a ton of preservatives, or that isn’t really ‘real’ food,” and that include margarine, Joe Bauer, nutritionist and personal trainer in Seattle, says. Margarine, which is on the list of foods that are aging you, is made with partially hydrogenated oil, which contains trans fats.
Bauer will also avoid preserved meats at all costs. Nitrates help these foods keep their color for longer but they are not doing your body any favors. They can convert to nitrite, causing the formation of nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic chemicals, according to the CDC. These processed foods are also extremely high in sodium, which leads to bloating, damaged blood vessels, and high blood pressure, to name a few.
“Because of the way the body prioritizes alcohol in the digestion process, I would very much suggest avoidance during heavy eating, Bauer says. Studies link alcohol consumption to bigger waists because when you drink booze, the liver burns alcohol instead of fat. Booze also has a lot of sugar. “I will certainly be saving my alcohol consumption for another time where I won’t be consuming large amounts of food,” he adds
This is a carb-filled holiday and you should be careful about what you consume
Canned cranberry sauce
A lot of experts disapprove of cranberry sauce. “It's mostly sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS),” Dr. Daryl Gioffre, celebrity nutritionist and founder of the Alkamind Get Off Your Acid 7-Day Cleanse, says. High fructose corn syrup has been found to have similar addictive qualities to heroin and cocaine and has been linked to weight gain and the obesity epidemic, he adds. “Fructose is the most dangerous form of sugar, as it elevates triglyceride levels and indirectly will cause insulin resistance in your body.” When this happens, your body will store these triglycerides as fat rather than being burned by the body for energy.
Buttery or creamy sides
This is what Personal Trainer and a Nutritionist Elizabeth Borge says avoids at Thanksgiving. Generally, she would limit herself to small portions of sides or better yet eat only small portions of one or two sides. “To be honest most sides are terrible though, in fact I can’t think of one I would recommend,” she adds.
This is what Mia Russo Stern, Founder of Brooklyn Culinary Arts, would never eat. “It’s so simple to make a quick homemade gravy with the pan juices from the turkey, ghee and a bit of flour.” Gravy is also pretty terrible because it can be added to many items increasing the calories of other foods like turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing; and it can add 100-
200 or more calories per plate.
The skin is just a lot of calories which you may want to avoid. It adds about 35 calories to a typical 3.5-ounce serving. A 3-ounce serving of skinless white meat has about 25 grams of protein (a good thing), about 3 grams of fat (which isn’t much at all), and less than 1 gram of saturated fat. The skin will add 3 more grams of fat to this equation.
Mac and cheese
“Mac and cheese is loaded with milk, butter and cheese; in other words, lots of calories and fat 400-1,000 calories,” Borge says. Another problem with this side is that it contains too many carbs, Deborah Malkoff-Cohen, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, says. Healthier sides are carrots, sprouts and green beans, she adds.
Sweet potato casserole
Sweet potato casserole can have marshmallows, brown sugar, cream and butter, and can be 400-500 calories per serving, according to Borge. The dish is loaded with brown sugar and marshmallows and is not a healthy choice. One
cup has 300 calories, 15 grams of fat, and 37 grams of sugar.
This is also a very unpopular dish at the table among nutritionists. They either avoid it completely or have very little of it. “The potatoes themselves are a white carbohydrate, meaning they are higher glycemic index and the sugar breaks down quicker and enters the bloodstream quicker,” Monica Moore, owner and registered dietitian nutritionist at Body by Monica, says. They are lower in fiber than their sweet potato counterpart. “And they typically are made with higher fat ingredients, such as butter, milk or cream, and gravy.” These can be a blood sugar raiser and a calorie bomb, Moore adds. “I would choose a baked or mashed sweet potato with cinnamon instead.”
Whip cream on pies
Desserts are also plentiful, Borge says. “I would choose one, and limit or eliminate ice cream or whip cream on pie.” Each cookie can be 100-200 calories, she adds. Desserts are basically all sugar, Malkoff-Cohen says, which is never good for the body. If you can’t resist them, eat very small portions.