home
RSS
Turkey skin: More good fat than bad, and other Thanksgiving truths
November 23rd, 2010
04:20 PM ET

Turkey skin: More good fat than bad, and other Thanksgiving truths

It's that time of year again when some people try to take the fun out of Thanksgiving dinner by highlighting just how many calories the average American will be consuming in this one, very special meal. It completely overshadows the fact that the individual, traditional components of this feast have some true health benefits and with some simple techniques can be prepared in a tasty AND healthy way. It's worth a reminder of what we're eating (in moderation) is truly good for us.

Turkey
"Turkey is a lean, flavorful protein source," says Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. "It's also a source of trace minerals zinc and selenium, which helps with cell and tissue repair and growth," she adds. Harvard's health newsletter says it's hard to beat turkey when you're looking for a lean cut of meat: "A 3-ounce serving of skinless white meat [which is about the size of a woman's palm] contains 25 grams of protein, barely 3 grams of fat, and less than 1 gram of saturated fat." The newsletter also notes that turkey is a good source of arginine, which some research suggests may help open arteries.

You may not have to forgo the scrumptious skin either, suggests Lilian Cheung, editorial director of "The Nutrition Source" from Harvard's School of Public Health. "There is more monounsaturated fat than saturated fat in poultry skin.  The skin adds calories, but there is more healthful fat in it than unhealthful fat. So it's OK to enjoy, if you like it," she tells CNN.  Moore suggests having some, rather than a whole plateful of skin may be advisable.  "If you roast your turkey on a rack most of the fat will drip down" says Cheung. Cooking Light magazine offers a recipe for the ultimate roasted turkey .

Cranberries
"Cranberries are naturally antioxidant rich," says Moore. Antioxidants can help protect the cells in your body from damage caused by molecules called 'free radicals. '" These harmful molecules are produced when the body breaks down food, or by tobacco smoke or radiation or other environmental pollutants, according to the National Institutes of Health.
"They've been shown to help your heart health and they might even improve brain health," says Moore.

Consuming cranberries in liquid form may help prevent urinary tract infection (but not treat them as some might think). But for the traditional consumption of cranberries on this holiday, Moore suggests making your own chutney or sauce to make them healthier than the store bought version. "Prepare them with orange juice or you can even reduce the amount of sugar by half"," she says, which help keeps the sugar and calorie count down. Food Network chef Tyler Florence has a yummy recipe that does just that.

Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are tasty and packed with nutrition. They are a great source of beta-carotene, which gets converted into vitamin A, which can help maintain healthy eyes and may also be good for your heart.  Sweet potatoes are also high in potassium (it's not just the banana!). "Potassium is important because it blunts the effect of salt and it also helps lower blood pressure," Moore explains.

The beauty of this root vegetable is that it's already sweet, "so you have to add a lot to them to flavor them," says Moore. Simply roasting sweet potatoes in the oven will help the sugars inside caramelize and naturally sweeten this aptly named sweet potato.  Harvard's health newsletter offers a slightly more decadent yet doctor-approved recipe.

Green beans
Moore notes this is a dish is a "great place to scale back" the calories. Green beans themselves are very low in calories. They only have 35 in a cup. However the traditional green bean casserole is made with cream of mushroom soup. Moore suggests trying to use fat-free or low-fat soup can make for a healthier dish. However, by forgoing the mushroom soup altogether and adding some olive oil, lemon or garlic, green beans can be a heart-healthy, low-calorie and tasty alternative, says Moore.

Pumpkin
Pumpkin itself is another good source of vitamins A and C and very low in calories (only 25 calories in half a cup), says Moore. But  in the company of other traditional pie ingredients, the nutritional benefits can be wiped out by the calories in just one piece (about 300 per slice according to the USDA).

Moore says there are ways to modify a traditional recipe: "Instead of whole milk, you can use evaporated skim milk [which] still provides a velvety texture."  She also recommends cutting back on the butter by a half or a quarter and reduce the sugar by a half or a third.

Health.com: Thanksgiving recipes for picky guests

Finally, pecans
Pecans are a definitely a heart-healthy source of mono-unsaturated fat, which have been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels, says Moore. They are also a source of fiber, which can help curb your appetite. But traditional pecan pie, made with lots of corn syrup and sugar, can easily lead to 500 calories in a slice. Reducing the amount of sugar may make a caloric dent, but Moore suggests enjoying this traditional element in a completely different (and healthy) way. "I like them with Brussels sprouts" Or, says Moore, "Why not have some roasted pecans around to snack on before the meal?"

If you can't do without the pie, Cheung says "you could use a whole grain pie crust," because whole grains are very good for heart health and regularity. Cooking Light suggests making a healthier pecan pie by putting healthier ingredients in, rather than taking not-so healthy things out.

Regardless of how you choose to modify your dishes to make them healthier, Moore suggests trying them out before the big day, so you're sure they are still as delicious as possible.

One more way to make your Thanksgiving healthy is to reduce the stress. For that you may turn to our colleagues at Eatocracy:  They'll be live-blogging from Wednesday evening through Thursday mealtime, offering kitchen and hosting advice or offering a supportive shoulder and a laugh if you need it. Just leave a note in the comments or reach out on Twitter @eatocracy and they'll do the best to help you keep calm and carry on.

Cheung offers this final thought for you when you sit down for your Thanksgiving feast – practice "mindful eating." Slow down, reflect on how the food came to you.


soundoff (868 Responses)
  1. orange truck shop

    There is certainly a great deal to learn about this issue. I love all the points you have made.

    http://www.montessorihelper.com/dap/a/?a=211&p=www.ocrv.us/

    May 15, 2021 at 04:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. best rv repair near me

    http://www.nilaima.com/link.php?url=https://ocrv.mobi

    May 15, 2021 at 05:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Maserati Ghibli Price 2016

    You should take part in a contest for one of the greatest sites on the web. I will highly recommend this web site!

    https://www.landofvolunteers.com/go.php?https://www.club-maserati.com

    May 15, 2021 at 05:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. good sam rv repair

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the site is also very good.

    https://www.montessorihelper.com/dap/a/?a=211&p=www.ocrvcenter.mobi

    May 15, 2021 at 07:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Maserati Ghibli

    Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this content together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    http://www.sweetcotton.com/osanpo/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=1154&url=https://club-maserati.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 07:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. property for sale coeur d alene

    https://www.sns.lilyenglish.com/link.php?url=https://www.meganleary.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Maserati Ghibli Coupe

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit once again since i have book-marked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

    https://www.mnogo.ru/out.php?link=http://club-maserati.com

    May 15, 2021 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Opticians Near Me

    http://www.landofvolunteers.com/go.php?https://arizonasvision.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Ray Ban Prescription Sunglasses

    Wonderful post! We will be linking to this particularly great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.

    https://panarmenian.net/eng/tofv?tourl=https://arizonasvision.com

    May 15, 2021 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. houses for sale coeur d' alene

    http://www.rucsh.org/home/link.php?url=http://www.meganleary.com

    May 15, 2021 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. school bus repair shops

    Your style is very unique compared to other folks I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I'll just book mark this blog.

    https://www.shareist.com/go2.php?to=https://ocrvluxurycoaches.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. storno brzinol

    I likewise believe so , perfectly pent post! .

    http://www.stornobrzinol.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Local Marketing Associations

    This site was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Many thanks!

    http://www.click.dsp.com/c?type=2&db=mediav&pub=120013_527433_1050746&cus=172_663_12717020_63096188_63096188000&url=http://www.ppcpostfalls.com/

    May 15, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. 2002 Maserati

    http://media.vol.at/weiterleitung/redirect.asp?id=http://club-maserati.com

    May 15, 2021 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. LbsoZisse

    paypal cialis http://ucialisdas.com/ – generic cialis in texas lowest price cialis 20mg

    May 15, 2021 at 19:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. 247homeserviceus.com

    Howdy! I'm at work surfing around your blog from my
    new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and
    look forward to all your posts! Keep up the fantastic work!

    May 15, 2021 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Social Media Marketing Agency Around Me

    You should be a part of a contest for one of the most useful sites on the web. I will highly recommend this blog!

    http://search.boardingate.com/cgi-bin/redirect?TYPE=URL&PARAMS=anglesey&C=136&X=1&AGENT=user1&TARGET=http://affordableranking.com

    May 15, 2021 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Content Marketing Company Orange County

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It is the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Many thanks for sharing!

    http://mtmeru.co.nz/ra.asp?url=http://www.affordableranking.com

    May 16, 2021 at 03:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Internet Marketing Services California

    http://indiaresume.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=affordableranking.com

    May 16, 2021 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RebfZisse

    online cialis reviews https://rcialisgl.com/ buy 20mg cialis

    May 16, 2021 at 06:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. fall guys switch

    Hi there, I enjoy reading all of your post. I like to write a
    little comment to support you.

    Feel free to surf to my web blog – fall guys switch

    May 16, 2021 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Ecu Repair 2017 Mercedes Sprinter Van Remove Speed Limiter

    Good article. I'm going through some of these issues as well..

    https://pages.audioteka.com/app/rdir.php?rdir=https://boxtruckrepairshop.com/upholstery-shop-near-me

    May 16, 2021 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Authorized Repair Shop

    https://www.htcdev.com/?URL=http://fleetautorepairshop.com/van-paint-shop-near-me/

    May 16, 2021 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. 2003 Dodge Sprinter Repair

    It’s nearly impossible to find experienced people on this topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    https://blogranking.fc2.com/out.php?id=1032500&url=https://commercialrepairshop.com/dump-truck-repair-shop-near-me/

    May 16, 2021 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. 32955 Sprinter Repair

    https://www.dailygood.org/more.php?op=get&url=https://fleetservicesorangecounty.com/rv-windshield-replacement-shop-near-me/

    May 16, 2021 at 16:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Sprinter Diesel Repair

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Thanks!

    http://members.ascrs.org/sso/logout.aspx?returnurl=http://fleetautorepairshop.com/box-truck-mechanic-shop-near-me/

    May 16, 2021 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Mercedes Sprinter 3.0 Intake Runner Repair

    http://www.the-mall.org/ys_shop/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=5395&url=http://www.boxtruckrepairshop.com/camper-van-conversion-shop-near-me

    May 16, 2021 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. stickman fight

    The best RPG game – offline action game 2019!
    Stickman fight is the best offline RPG game that you have never
    experienced. This offline RPG game is also the perfect combination between fighting games and action games.
    In this League of Stickman version, the stick hero returns to a more attractive, challenging gameplay in a combination of stick and war games.
    Transform into a ninja superman.

    Stickman people in Stickman game to fight stick and robot enemies.
    In this new version of the game, the stickman superman in Stickman game will
    come back with the fight screen as well as shooting in the galaxy extremely attractive.
    Promise to be the best game of 2019.

    May 16, 2021 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. poker online uang asli

    I read this post completely about the comparison of hottest and previous technologies,
    it's remarkable article.

    May 16, 2021 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Sprinter Van Repair Fountain Valley

    Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a superb article… but what can I say… I put things off a lot and never manage to get anything done.

    https://www.t10.org/cgi-bin/s_t10r.cgi?First=1&PrevURL=https://ocrvfleetservices.com/van-wrap-shop-near-me/

    May 16, 2021 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. LebnEncox

    Flagyl Coreg Cymbalta

    May 16, 2021 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Maserati Polo Shirt

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful post. Many thanks for providing this info.

    https://www.newportrum.info/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=maseratiforum.net

    May 16, 2021 at 22:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Mercedes Winnebago Sprinter Repair

    http://cs.odu.edu/~mln/teaching/cs751-s11/?method=display&redirect=http://fleetservicerepairshop.com/sprinter-van-repair-shop-near-me-3

    May 16, 2021 at 22:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Maserati Lesbian

    https://www.gotangierisland.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=maseratis.net

    May 17, 2021 at 00:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Mercedes Benz Sprinter Service Locations

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Many thanks for supplying this information.

    http://ads.scena.org/brand/brand.asp?lan=2&id=63373&lnk=https://fleetservicesorangecounty.com/promaster-van-conversion-shop-near-me/

    May 17, 2021 at 00:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Sprinter Side Door Lock Repair

    After I initially commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service? Many thanks!

    http://www.fudou-san.com/link/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=2898&url=https://fleetautorepairshop.com/rv-upgrades-shop-near-me/

    May 17, 2021 at 03:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. 1972 Maserati Boomerang

    http://ferriswheel.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=club-maserati.com

    May 17, 2021 at 05:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. 2016 Sprinter Mirror Repair

    Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I most certainly will send this information to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

    http://dir.tetsumania.net/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=3267&url=https://fleetrepairshops.com/truck-windshield-replacement-shop-near-me/

    May 17, 2021 at 06:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. How Much Is A Maserati Worth

    Hi there! This post could not be written much better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I will send this article to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    https://videoder.com/af/media?mode=2&url=http://maseratis.net/

    May 17, 2021 at 06:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Sprinter Van Ecu Repair

    I was pretty pleased to find this great site. I want to to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every bit of it and i also have you book-marked to see new things on your blog.

    https://www.coloradoballet.org/Redirect.aspx?destination=https://fleetservicerepairshop.com/flatbed-truck-repair-shop-near-me

    May 17, 2021 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Authorized Sprinter Repair Shop

    That is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very accurate information… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!

    http://www.semex.com/popurl.cgi?url=https://fleetautorepairshop.com/truck-alignment-shop-near-me/

    May 17, 2021 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Maserati Dealer Houston

    http://p1-uranai.com/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=538&url=maseratiforum.net

    May 17, 2021 at 13:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. pg slot demo

    Hi! Quick question that's totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?

    My weblog looks weird when browsing from my iphone
    4. I'm trying to find a theme or plugin that might be
    able to fix this problem. If you have any recommendations, please share.
    Cheers!

    May 17, 2021 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. oc towing mission viejo

    I was able to find good advice from your content.

    https://zhouyiworld.com/home/link.php?url=https://zander3g3e2.blogtov.com/3490479/not-known-facts-about-rv-repair-shop

    May 17, 2021 at 13:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. JebgEncox

    hq pharmacy online 365 https://pharmacylo.com/ Moduretic

    May 17, 2021 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. rvupgrades reviews

    /

    May 17, 2021 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. shopping xvideos

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after looking at many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Anyhow, I’m definitely pleased I came across it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!

    https://www.fisherphillips.com/redirect.aspx?url=http://coverderm.hu/termekeink/coverderm-filteray/coverderm-filteray-skin-repair/69-coverderm-filteray-skin-repair?start=890810

    May 17, 2021 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. RV Batteries Orange County

    http://space.sosot.net/link.php?url=phaseradar.com/real-cricket-games/

    May 17, 2021 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. where is an auto parts store near me

    Very nice blog post. I definitely love this site. Keep writing!

    https://wirelessestimator.com/advertise/newsletter_redirect.php?url=https://uccadia.com/harare-une-maison-pour-preserver-la-tradition/

    May 17, 2021 at 17:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Maserati Ghibli S Q4 0-60

    https://www.zhhsw.com/home/link.php?url=https://maseratiforum.net

    May 17, 2021 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.