Eating Healthy Foods on Thanksgiving

No matter who you are or how healthy you are, we could all be a little more health conscious, especially in terms of the foods we eat. During this time of year, we tend to eat a lot, and eat a lot of the things that we shouldn't. If you have COPD, you should always strive to eat healthier to fuel your body and help keep your immune system, lungs, heart, and brain function in tip-top-shape.

If you have any say in how Thanksgiving Dinner is made this year, here are some healthy, and delicious alternatives to the usual Thanksgiving dinner menu. These alternatives are different from what you might be used to, but they definitely don't lack in flavor. Your body will thank you later because of the added vitamins and nutrients.

Fresh Veggies


Instead of just dumping your green beans, carrots, or corn out of a can and into a pan, get a fresh or frozen bag of veggies as your veggie side dish. Try chopping up, steaming, or baking a pan of squash and green beans. Lightly oil your veggies with olive oil and season with your choice of herbs and some sea salt. Steaming vegetables and seasoning them is a great and healthy way to serve your Thanksgiving vegetable side dish.

Greek Yogurt Dip


If you're serving a veggie tray to keep your guests happy before dinner is done, forgo the sour cream or other thick and salty (high fat) dips and use Greek yogurt, or a light non-sweetened yogurt. Greek yogurt is often used as a healthy substitute in recipes that call for sour cream, and it tastes just as good, if not a little sweeter. It's also a great source of calcium.

Skip Gravy for Sauce


The addition of salt and flour to turkey drippings is what makes it unhealthy. Just extract the turkey drippings from the pan without the fat, and stir in some herbs, honey, and apple cider for a kick of flavor. We suggest the following herb: thyme, parsley, sage, and you can also add onion powder. Pour this delicious sauce over your meat, mashed potatoes, and even the veggies.

Dress Up Potatoes


Many people like to add marshmallows and brown sugar to their sweet potatoes, but this, of course, adds a ton of empty calories and sugar. Instead, try adding some cinnamon over your sweet potato. Cinnamon has been found to be great for lowering blood pressure.

Use Whole Grains


Substitute any white bread with whole grain as a general rule for a healthier, starchy, side dish. If you're making your own stuffing, use whole grain bread instead of white bread. If you're including rice in the meal, use brown rice instead of white rice. Using or making whole grain dinner buns is an added healthy side dish.

Healthy Dessert Options


To make homemade desserts healthier, substitute the oil and butter with applesauce. You can even substitute eggs in dessert mixes with applesauce and baking powder! To substitute 1 egg in cookies or cake, use ¼ cup applesauce and 1 tsp baking powder.

 

UPDATED: 10/30/17

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