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As you gather around the dinner table with your family and friends, you can be sure the food on your plate is healthy and nutritious if you follow this guide:
Top 5 healthiest foods on your Thanksgiving plate:
The healthiest turkey is organic and pasture raised. Lean roast turkey is high in protein and rich in B vitamins including B3 (niacin), folate (necessary for formation of red and white blood cells), biotin (for healthy hair and nails), and choline. Turkey is also rich in selenium (for normal thyroid function) and omega-3 fats (lowers risk of heart attack and strokes). A 4 ounce serving of white lean turkey meat contains 152 calories. Studies show turkey doesn't increase the risk of cancer like red meat does.
Green beans are a healthy addition to salads and an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C, manganese, fiber, folate and vitamin B2 (riboflavin for energy metabolism). Green beans are low-calorie and high in fiber and antioxidants. One-cup of cooked green beans contains about 45 calories and about 7mg of silicon (for support of connective tissue and bones).
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene and vitamin A (anti-inflammatory nutrients and support normal eye health). They are also good sources of vitamin C (antioxidant protects cells from damage and fights the common cold). Sweet potatoes also contains fiber that's necessary for good bowel health.
20% of all cranberries are consumed on Thanksgiving day. Cranberries are high in antioxidants that helps protect cells from inflammation damage and oxidative stress (risk factors for heart disease). One cup of cranberries contains 18% of vitamin C, 16% of manganese and 16% of fiber. Cranberry juice improves urinary tract infections (URI) caused by E. coli.
Carrots are considered the ultimate health food. They are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Carrots also contain antioxidants, carotenoids and vitamin A, which may prevent age-related macular degeneration (age-related vision loss). A 2015 study found a link between carotenoids and lower risk of prostate cancer.
If your Thanksgiving dinner contains the top 5 healthiest foods, your body will thank you!
Avoid the following top 5 unhealthiest foods on your Thanksgiving plate.
Thanksgiving dinner in Black households usually means gravy poured over everything. Gravy may be savory, but it is not doctor-approved. Gravy is loaded with carbohydrates, saturated fats and who knows what else is thrown in there. Say no thanks to gravy.
Fried food is unhealthy because it increases the risk of heart attacks and cancer. Fried food is also associated with obesity. Studies show people who only eat fried food are more likely to die early than those who avoid fried food.
Your guests might as well eat a big bowl of sugar if you're serving candied yams for dessert this Thanksgiving. Candied yams with marshmallows is pure sugar. The yams themselves are sweet without all the extra added sugar.
Stuffing or dressing with sausage
Stuffing is a side dish that most Americans only consume on Thanksgiving day. Some people say stuffing and dressing are the same dish. Whether you call it "stuffing" or "dressing" - it is not doctor approved. Stuffing is a mystery side dish that contains a variety of unhealthy ingredients including sausage, bacon, eggs, white bread crumbs, custard, sugar, and white flour. Stuffing is loaded with calories, carbs and saturated fats that may raise your blood pressure and increase risk of a heart attack.
Mashed potatoes with bacon and cheese
Mashed potatoes with bacon and cheese are an unhealthy combination. The dish is high in starchy carbs and saturated fats. Mashed potatoes enters your bloodstream faster than sugar and will make you sleepy and more hungry. If you must serve mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving, leave off the bacon and cheese.
Sources: Whfoods.com, Familyproof.com