CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - It’s a time to celebrate family and those we hold dear but it's also a time to prepare the biggest meal of the year,
“Not only can you eat your favorite food on Thanksgiving Day you should eat your favorite food because this day comes around once a year,” says Debbie Petitpain who is a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Petitpain says because the meal is so special make sure the sides you are eating are too.
“It’s the only time of year where you can only eat grandma’s souffle' then enjoy that, but if it’s something you can eat all year long then just pass and enjoy the thing that makes the meal special,” says Petitpain.
Petitpain says during Thanksgiving Day the average person can eat at least 4,500 calories and 230 grams of fat.
“A lot of the calories and fat come from the extra oils and butters, dairy, brown sugar, marshmallows things like that,” says Petitpain.
Instead Petitpain recommends using a sugar substitute, and for baked goods use apple sauce or mashed bananas.
For dishes that call for butter she says use canola or olive oil and if the recipe calls for dairy use low fat versions.
“Just by watching your sugar and making a few extra swaps can keep you from arriving to the new year saying,'I want to lose weight,'” says Petitpain.
To cut the salt, she says use fresh herbs and spices and also look for low sodium versions of items like broths.
“Just make some wise choices, make sure what you’re choosing to put on that plate is a treat, and watch your portions, and if you can get up and move around a little,” says Petitpain.
Petitpain says traditionally Thanksgiving was a celebration of the harvest. So what better way to celebrate the holiday with plenty of fruits and seasonal veggies.
Things like cranberries, pumpkin, green beans, sweet potatoes, and collard greens.
Petitpain says these fruits and veggies can pack a bounty of nutrition to your Thanksgiving feast.
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