Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season when many folks are prone to put on a few pounds.
Registered dietitian Karen Ansel says Thanksgiving foods can be healthy.
"White meat turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and green beans are natural health foods. It’s what we add to them that pushes their fat and calories over the top,” she says.
To prevent weight gain this Thanksgiving season, keep these tips from Ansel in mind:
1. The dark meat and the skin are the fattiest parts of the bird, so roast a turkey breast instead of a turkey.
2. Skip the green bean casserole. Instead, whip up green beans with sautéed shallots and a light coating of high-quality extra virgin-olive oil.
3. Canned cranberry sauce can be high in sugar. So, make your own using half the sugar in the recipe -- no one will know the difference. Then, add cinnamon and freshly diced-pears for extra sweetness.
4. Sweeten sweet potatoes with orange juice and add a pinch of chili powder -- a natural metabolism booster -- for an unexpected kick.
5. Most of the calories in pumpkin pie are in the crust. Make individual pumpkin puddings by baking the pudding in ramekins. Or if you must have pie, leave the crust at the end.
6. Enjoy holiday cheer in moderation. A glass of red wine can help you relax and can help fight heart disease. Just limit holiday drinks to two maximum. More than that and you may lose your willpower and end up eating more than you planned.