Feed your family the best on Thanksgiving and throughout the Fall. Amy Moore, a registered dietitian and instructor in the department of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University, gives you the dish on healthy Thanksgiving foods:
1. Turkey: The centerpiece of most Thanksgiving dinners is low fat, high protein and rich in minerals such as iron, zinc and potassium, and B vitamins. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive. Peel off the skin and nab the white meat, which doesn’t contain nearly the fat or calories as a leg or thigh.
2. Sweet potatoes: “They’re a dream come true because they’re packed with vitamin A and beta-carotene, and are naturally sweet. I like to see sweet potatoes instead of mashed on the Thanksgiving buffet,” says Moore. Scrub up the potato jackets, pop them in a 350-degree oven for a half hour (until they can be pierced with a fork), slit them down the middle, squeeze them from both ends and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon.
3. Cranberry relish: Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, cranberries are as attractive as they are delicious. Spoon them onto turkey for flavor and you’ll use less gravy which tends to contain a lot of fat.
4. Vegetables: Branch out from the traditional green bean casserole. Bring something new and delicious, such as purple cauliflower.
Roasting vegetables is an easy way to bring out their natural sweetness. Combine a variety of veggies, such as carrots, beets and Brussels sprouts. Spritz on some olive oil and put them in a 350 degree oven uncovered for 20 to 40 minutes. Stir halfway through.
5. Pomegranate seeds: Loaded with antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E, potassium, iron and calcium, pomegranates are a super fruit. Sprinkle them on a green salad and on sliced pears and apples.
Just remember not to stuff yourself, says Moore. “Thanksgiving is about being with family. Go for a walk. Step away from the table and enjoy some good conversation.”
Source: News release, 11/13/12, Saint Louis University Medical Center