Turkey Day is right around the corner! Gobble gobble. Aren’t we all looking forward to the turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, green beans, and who doesn’t love stuffing? Thanksgiving, just like many other days of celebration, reminds us to appreciate what we have. This day is also known as the biggest day of eating in the calendar year. Although this day is marked with a feast, how much feasting is too much?

Overeating just one day of the year may not seem like a major problem, but the amount of calories consumed is most likely more than you would expect. In fact, the average American consumes approximately 4,500 calories at Thanksgiving. That’s more than twice the daily recommendation of calories (2,000)! The calories consumed on Thanksgiving Day would take anywhere from 2-4 weeks to burn off, depending on your body weight and type of daily physical activity.

To control your intake at Thanksgiving this year, try to plan ahead. Cook with healthier low-fat options, and focus more on the holiday itself rather than the holiday meals. Take a look at some healthy Thanksgiving alternatives below.

Did You Know?

  • In 1939, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tried to make Thanksgiving one week early in hopes that it would spur retail sales during the Great Depression.
  • The average American consumes over 4,500 calories and 229 grams of fat at Thanksgiving.
  • On average, 46 million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving.
  • A surplus of Thanksgiving leftovers in 1953 created the first TV dinner.

Tips for Holiday Health:

  1. Replace butter with nonfat plain greek yogurt in mashed potatoes recipe.
  2. Instead of creamy vegetable casseroles, just have the plain vegetables baked or steamed and flavored with herbs and spices.
  3. Use a whole grain base for stuffing such as quinoa, or whole wheat bread.
  4. Instead of cooking with saturated fats such as lard, coconut oil, or butter, replace with unsaturated fats such as olive oil, sunflower oil, or canola oil.
  5. Choose fresh fruit with cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice sprinkled on top rather than the pies.

Sources: American Heart Association, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, LiveStrong.com, TIME, National Institutes of Health, SparkPeople, LifeWork Strategies EAP, and Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For medical advice, consult your physician. Feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.