Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Few Thanksgiving "Facts"

Believe it or not, according to the American Council on Exercise, the typical Thanksgiving meal is approximately 3,000 calories. And, that's just one main course plate, any seconds, extra snacks, desserts, etc. add even more calories to your caloric "load." If you also eat big breakfast that morning, you can easily eat enough calories on that one day to gain at least a pound.

With that thought in mind, here are a few facts to keep in mind:

  • Turkey skin is the most caloric dense part of the turkey, has the most fat and the least protein. The skin contains 482 calories and 44 grams of fat. A whole turkey with the skin has 231% more fat, 59% more calories, and 23% more cholesterol than a turkey with no skin.
  • Breast meat without the skin is the healthiest part of the turkey. Breast meat without skin has only 161 calories and 4 grams of fat per serving.
  • Two tablespoons of cranberry sauce will give over 1/3 of the sugar you need for the day. And most processed (not homemade) cranberry sauces contain high fructose corn syrup.
  • Two tablespoons of processed gravy products give you over 1/3 of the sodium you need for the day, and some contain trans fats.

So, a good rule of thumb to stick by is to eat the turkey without the skin, and stick to home-made dishes made with fresh, unprocessed ingredients.

And, remember, there's always leftovers. You don't have to have the stuffing, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes all on one plate. Eat one, and save the others for left-over meals.


  1. I'm think the wisest course of action would be to lock myself in the attic until the holidays are over.

  2. I make my own cranberry sauce and gravy and this year I'm thinking about doing turkey tenderloins only for our small family.

  3. Mmmmm, turkey skin. That's the best part! Nobody wants to cook, I've been invited to a fancy buffet. I probably won't eat any turkey, won't eat sweet potato if it has stuff in it, won't eat gravy, I'll probably eat fish, salad, random sides, turkey skin, and a dessert or two. It's one day, even if it's 3000 calories, it'll be worth it.