Before you shop consider these healthier options for Thanksgiving


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Before visiting the supermarket this weekend, you should consider some healthier ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal.

Rhianon Lester, a Registered Dietitian, and R.N. with Rochester Regional Health discussed some of those healthier options Friday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“What I would recommend is making sure you find some swaps just to save you that overall calorie load for the meal,” Lester said. “You can still make awesome, delicious recipes and have it a little bit lighter. A couple of easy ones are swapping for a low-fat rather than a full-fat option when you’re using cheeses, creams, and milk. Why not just swap for a low-fat? You do not have to go fat-free. Usually, the lighter option is still very palatable and it makes a great product. The same goes for any type of baking. If you are able and you are comfortable using sugar substitutes, why not swap them out just to save that calorie load. Another fun idea for making a swap on an item is using low-fat gravy. Why would you use a full-fat on a beautiful lean protein source like a turkey when you could use something a little bit lighter? Any dressings and gravy, keep on the side so that way people can take however much they would like, rather than putting it on that salad or what have you and it’s quite a bit more than maybe somebody would normally use.”

As for the mindset — it’s just one day, go ahead and splurge and then resume your normal calorie intake the next day, Lester said, “That can be okay as long as you’re using small portions but also it can kind of get into a binge behavior, right? You feel like it’s a free-for-all on one day rather than moderation over time. The idea is – yes, you have this beautiful meal on Thanksgiving but why can’t you have Thanksgiving-style food all of the time in smaller amounts, maybe making some of these swaps?”

One benefit will be more leftovers for you and your loved ones. In addition, Lester said to make sure to build in some time for physical activity on Thanksgiving Day as well.

She recommended taking a walk or run or tossing a football — something to burn off a few calories before or after the big meal.

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