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Healthy Thanksgiving

By YESsoccer, 11/15/12, 9:15AM EST


5 Ways To Stay In Game Shape

YESsoccer and Giant Eagle want to help your family stay in game shape through the holidays. Consider shifting your strategy away from traditional high-speed gorging, and instead slowly savor a small portion of a variety of holiday dishes, with an attitude of gratitude.

As you savor, here are five ways to save calories:

1.  White or Dark Turkey Meat?

Per 3 ounces, turkey breast ("white" meat) has 115 calories and 7 g of fat versus 160 calories and 11 g of fat in "dark" meat. So opting for the white meat will save you 50 calories and 4 grams of fat.

  2.  Green Bean Casserole or Sweet Potato Casserole?

  Even with its creamy mushroom soup and crispy fried onions, traditional green bean casserole (161 calories, 9 g fat per 3/4 cup) is a lighter pick than sweet potato casserole (285 calories, 5 g fat per 3/4 cup). Part of the reason is that green beans are so low-cal to start with. But keep in mind that the starchier sweet potato is full of good-for-you nutrients, including beta carotene, which is a potent antioxidant and precursor to vitamin A. If you want an even lighter option, roast green beans. Here's how: Trim stem ends from 1 pound of beans. Toss with 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (or canola oil), 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Roast at 450F for 15 to 20 minutes.


3.  Pumpkin Pie or Apple Pie?

At 316 calories and 14 g of fat per slice (1/8 of a 9-inch pie), pumpkin is a slimmer choice than apple, which will cost you 411 calories and 19 g of fat for that same size slice. One explanation for the higher calorie count: the double crust. Another bonus of picking the pumpkin: whipped topping has significantly fewer calories and less fat than the vanilla ice cream often served atop apple.

4.  Traditional Sausage Stuffing or Dinner Roll with Butter?

If you're all about the calories, go for the dinner roll with a pat of butter, which will set you back 140 calories and 4.5 g fat, versus the 371 calories and 19 g of fat you'll gobble down in 3/4 cup of the stuffing. But if you love stuffing, savor it—maybe just savor a smaller serving, and skip the dinner roll. 

5.  Jellied Cranberry Sauce or Gravy?

Surprise! Gravy is actually the skinnier turkey topper. Per 1/4 cup, gravy delivers about 30 calories and 1.5 g fat, versus jellied cranberry sauce, with 110 calories (and 0 g fat) per 1/4 cup. Why so high? Lots of added sugars.