Traditional Thanksgiving Turkey Dinner: Many Thanksgiving foods are good for you, says Harvard Heart Letter

Published: October, 2004

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it's a good time to evaluate if the big meal traditional to this day can be healthy. We tend to think of this holiday dinner with a guilty smile; however, several traditional foods are essentially healthy. The November issue of the Harvard Heart Letter looks at the health benefits of turkey and other mainstays of a traditional Thanksgiving feast.

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 fat, and less than 1 gram of saturated fat. Compared to prime rib, turkey has a lot less fat and fewer calories, too. However, dark meat has more saturated fat than white meat, and eating the skin adds a hefty serving of bad fats. Turkey is also a good source of arginine—an amino acid the body uses to make new protein and nitric oxide, the substance that relaxes and opens arteries.

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