Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Average Nutritional Value of Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Just in case you were trying to prioritize what goes on your plate on Thanksgiving, I have listed the average nutritional value of the average Thanksgiving meal. Please keep in mind that I came up with these numbers by looking at typical recipes for the menu items and calculating the averages- so there will be some variation based on quantity used and types of ingredients used (light butter vs. regular, whole milk vs. 2%, etc). I recommend loading half your plate with straight veggies (i.e: not casseroles, or creamy vegetable dishes) if that's an option (perhaps steal some from the appetizer veggie tray?), light meat turkey- NO SKIN!, corn, and sweet potato casserole and cranberry sauce/relish if they are made like I suggested in my blogs from earlier this week (or just w/o copious amounts of butter and sugar). My best recommendation is to go light on the stuffing and mashed potatoes, those are loaded with unhealthy fats and the calories add up quickly.

Contrary to popular belief, you don't feel tired after your Thanksgiving meal from just the Turkey. While it is true that Turkey contains tryptophan which makes you sleepy, it contains no more than eggs, chicken, lentils, peanuts, and many other protein-containing foods. What makes you tired is the amount of carbohydrates you consume with the turkey (carbohydates increase tryptophan and serotonin in the brain, thus making you sleepy), the amount of food you eat (the blood is directed to your gut instead of other parts of the body instead of your appendages), and the alcohol if you choose to drink. So, if you don't want to feel tired, stick with proper portion size and create a well-balanced plate (veg, protein, starches, fruit, dairy), go light on the alcohol, and take a walk after you eat!


1 comment:

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