Thanksgiving Dinner Deconstructed: Foods to Avoid

Thanksgiving is a time for family traditions, traditions which admittedly mostly center around indulging, lounging and feasting. It may sound like the perfect afternoon when eating for two, but remember, pregnant women are only supposed to consume about 300 more calories per day than their healthy, pre-conception intake. Anything more can be unhealthy for both mom and baby.

So what’s a girl to do when faced with a mouth-watering holiday spread? Make smart choices and get educated on typical Thanksgiving meal pitfalls.

The bird
Turkey, just like chicken, can be very healthy for you depending on where the meat is from. White meat, or breast meat, is high in protein and low in fat, making it the ideal choice for pregnant women. Turkey should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165F at the thigh. If overcooked, the breast meat will be dry and you may be tempted to ladle on copious amounts of fatty gravy. Avoid gravy when you can.

Stuffing or dressing?
Stuffing, as opposed to dressing, has been cooked inside the bird. As such, we recommend you opt for dressing this year. Why? Just think of all those raw turkey juices, and the potential bacteria, that is seeping into the stuffing. If you simply have to have stuffing, the cooking process can kill off bacteria if the stuffing reaches 165F. But is it worth the risk?

Green beans, minus the casserole
Casserole is pretty much synonymous with fat. As tasty as it may be, the nutritional value of the green beans is essentially negated by all the butter, cream, and cheese in the traditional holiday casserole. And, don’ t forget that crunchy, fried onion topping. Fried equals fattening.

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