Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes

While many of us over-indulge this time of year, there are lots of traditional holiday foods that won't throw you off your healthy diet. The trick is to make healthy choices, and not eat too much in general. Here are some foods you can enjoy guilt-free this Thanksgiving:

Turkey. If you are looking for a lean cut of meat, turkey is hard to beat. A 3-ounce serving of skinless white meat contains 25 grams of protein, barely 3 grams of fat, and less than 1 gram of saturated fat. Dark meat has more saturated fat than white meat, and eating the skin adds a hefty wallop of these bad fats. Turkey is also a good source of arginine. As with other amino acids, the body uses this one to make new protein. Arginine is also the raw material for making nitric oxide, a substance that relaxes and opens arteries. Whether foods rich in arginine help keep arteries open has prompted both research and debate.

Cranberries. The fruit that provides the base of this traditional side dish deserves to move from holidays to everyday. Cranberries are packed with dozens of different antioxidants. On a standard test that measures the ability of food to neutralize unstable molecules that can damage DNA, proteins, cell membranes, and cellular machinery, the cranberry is near the top of the list. The natural mix of antioxidants found in cranberries and other foods is what matters, not the high doses of single ones found in supplements. If you make your own cranberry sauce from whole berries, you'll get a tastier and less sugary sauce than you can get out of a can.

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