Iowa Specialty Hospital

Savory Holiday Foods and Your Nutrition Goals

November 17, 2022

With the holidays right around the corner, there is always one thing on everyone's mind: savory dishes and holiday-inspired cocktails. That's right, the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, come with temptation - but you don't have to go cold turkey just to stay on track with your nutrition goals. 

With turkey, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cranberries and leafy greens at the heart of the dinner table, you can stay on track even during the hustle-and-bustle of the holiday season. So feel free to pull up a chair and indulge! Thanksgiving doesn't always have to lead to a food coma and the notorious "morning after" hangover - instead, use it as a jumping-off point for a savory and healthy holiday season!  Rather than obsessing over creamy mashed potatoes and the dessert table, stick to dishes that are healthy, hearty and delectable. Here are a couple holiday favorites to include:

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are not only rich in vitamin B6, C and D, but they are a great source of iron, potassium and magnesium. Not to mention, they're creamy, delicious and a perfect substitute for white or yellow potatoes.

Leafy Greens: You may have heard that leafy greens, like kale, can provide a number of different health benefits, such as: lowering the risk of cancer, help to lower your cholesterol, and much more. Essentially, it's a nutritional powerhouse that has everyone feeding into the 'kale frenzy.' Not only does the nutrient-rich vegetable provide a number of different health benefits, but it's versatile and works with a variety of your favorite dishes.

Turkey or Vegetarian Protein Dish: Turkey (or if you're a vegetarian, a large source of protein) is likely going to be the center of attention at your table! Opt for smaller portions, paired with a salad and a soup for the perfect meal.
A couple of small changes to your Thanksgiving can make a huge difference, for example: sticking to water all day/evening long can help you feel fuller longer and avoid over-eating. Also, instead of running right to the couch right after dinner, help the host clean up, or even take a long walk with family and friends so everyone can burn off some extra calories before unwinding for the evening. 
With these tips in mind, you can stay satisfied and on track this Thanksgiving - Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

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