Why you should eat healthy on Thanksgiving


Lexy Perez, Staff Writer


Thanksgiving is the one day when we all have the excuse to stuff our faces and have no shame.

Food comas are expected and after attacking our food within seconds, we all feel some sort of motivation to ensure that we eat better for the next holiday. Do we ever remain loyal to that promise?

While nothing ever beats the tastiness of the main Thanksgiving dishes that are mashed potatoes, stuffing, pie, etc., it would be nice to be able to enjoy the holiday while cutting some calories in the process. You may think it’s difficult, but it’s actually not that hard to have a guilt-free Thanksgiving.

One of the most important things to remember to do on Thanksgiving Day is to eat breakfast. It can be common for everyone to avoid eating the whole day as a means of being able to eat everything at dinner. Eating breakfast can give you the opportunity to have more control when eating your Thanksgiving meal. Eat a small, satisfying breakfast in order to prevent engulfing a load of calories in one sitting.

It’s also crucial to make entrees with healthier ingredients. While this could sound complicated, it’s rather simple to alter ingredients. For example, substitute sugar with sugar substitutes or fruit purees. Minimize the amount of butter and oil used in recipes. Use fat-free chicken broth to make the gravy. Make whole-wheat dinner rolls rather than white bread.

When it comes to loading your plate with a large portion of food, focus on following an 80/20 rule. Fill your plate with 80 percent of healthy food and 20 percent of food that could be considered the “guilty pleasures.” While it’s hard to resist the temptation, be aware of your portions and don’t overdo it with the sweets and fatty foods. Healthy options that should cover your plate are vegetables, white turkey meat and sweet potatoes.

Something also worth considering is to eat food that you can’t necessarily eat all year long. College students tend to have a busy life and it can be easy to resort to fast food and unhealthy food options. Luckily, Thanksgiving dinner could be the one time of the year to eat a home-cooked meal, with food that actually offers health benefits. You can finally eat your vegetables. Eat Sweet Potatoes and gain a good amount of Vitamin A. Eat real turkey meat without it being fried and greasy.

Thanksgiving is a day that everyone automatically assumes they will find themselves in the midst of food comas, but it’s important to be realistic about what the real focus should be. Thanksgiving isn’t always about what’s on the menu for the buffet, but rather celebrating time with family and friends. Be smart about your food choices and you won’t feel that dreaded guilt.