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Happy Thanksgiving – Enjoy your healthy turkey! - Food Pyramid
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Happy Thanksgiving – Enjoy your healthy turkey!

By Senior Editor
Food Pyramid -

Thanksgiving has a 400 year old history. The first thanksgiving dates back to November 1621 when the newly arrived pilgrims and American Indians gathered at Plymouth for an autumn harvest celebration. Today, turkey has become the culinary star of this holiday season, and is the most common main dish of a Thanksgiving dinner. Fortunately, turkey comes with many health benefits.

Health benefits of Turkey

turkey-breast-nutriion-factsTurkey is very rich in protein and low in fat. It has a low-GI and can help lower the cholesterol levels and keep insulin levels stable. Turkey is particularly rich in selenium, essential for proper thyroid and immune function. It is also a great source of zinc, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin (vitamin B3). Furthermore, turkey contains amino acid tryptophan which produces serotonin – very important for you mood. It can ease PMS, depression, and improve your sleep. Enjoy your turkey!

  • High-protein, low-fat, low-GI
  • Lowers cholesterol levels & keeps insulin levels stable
  • Great source of iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B12, B6, B3 (niacin)
  • Improves your mood, sleep, and can help with PMS and depression

Tips for Healthy Thanksgiving

  • Avoid ”self basting” turkeys – they contain added fat
  • Buy a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey – breast meat is lower in calories than dark meat
  • Roast or smoke the turkey – avoid deep frying since it increases your fat and calorie intake
  • Use vegetables and fresh herbs for stuffing such as halved onions, apples or lemons, marjoram, sage, thyme, rosemary, whole grain bread – instead of traditional bacon,sausage and white bread
  • Spray the turkey with oil – instead of rubbing the skin with oil or butter
  • Use vegetable oil for gravy – instead of using fat- and calorie rich turkey drippings when making the gravy
  • Mash your potatoes and root veggies, use evaporated skim milk, and add garlic, herbs and spices for the flavor – avoid using butter and cream and don’t mix it with unhealthy ingredients
  • Make your creamy soup from scratch – it’s healthier than using canned bases
  • Use whole grains for your dinner rolls – instead of processed sugars
  • Limit the amount of butter you add on your dinner rolls – to avoid too much fat and calories
  • Use low-fat milk and low-fat cheese to your ”macaroni and cheese”. Also, add some vegetables to make it healthier – and avoid adding meat or more cheese
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