Healthy Thanksgiving Food Swaps: 7 Steps to a Healthier Thanksgiving Meal by Felicia Stoler
Before you bring Grandma’s good china out of the attic, rethink your holiday menu. A few of these healthy swaps may make this year’s feast better for your family.
- Check the labels on snack items. If you plan to serve pre-meal snacks, check the labels before you buy to make sure they don’t contain hydrogenated oils.
- Buy a turkey that is 100-percent bird. If a turkey is at the center of your table, order an organic pasture-raised bird from a local farmer. Most store-bought frozen turkeys have been injected with up to 12 percent of a solution containing added sugar, salt and artificial flavorings. Additives are not allowed on fresh turkeys.
- If you fry your bird, use an oil with a high smoke point such as Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil. When oil is heated beyond its smoke point, its molecular structure begins breaking down. It may even form trans fats.
- Or save a turkey’s life. Consider serving tofurkey or a fall vegetarian dish as your meal’s centerpiece.
- Ditch the boxed stuffing. That familiar stuffing in the red box contains partially hydrogenated oil, our primary source of trans fats. Pick up some day-old bread and have your little ones help by tearing the bread into pieces the night before. Create a family tradition with homemade stuffing.
- Pass up the canned crescent rolls! Refrigerated dough products including crescent rolls often contain partially hydrogenated oils as well as emulsifiers such as monoglycerides and diglycerides. These may also contain trans fats.
- Avoid the gravy packets/chemical soup. Prepare your own gravy by whisking a few tablespoons of flour or cornstarch into the turkey drippings.
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