Healthy Holiday Eating Tips #3 – Turkey Dinner

To continue the series begun several blog posts back, herewith a breakdown of the average Thanksgiving turkey dinner.

Roast Turkey and Stuffing

The average holiday dinner contains 4,000 calories and 229 grams of fat, according to a presentation by Holly Herrington, MS RD, before Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Healthy Transitions Program®.

Herrington broke down the meal’s main offenders:
Pecan pie – 500 calories per slice
One cup stuffing – 350 calories
Six ounces of dark meat 350 calories
Clearly, just these three elements amount to more than half of a normal person’s daily calorie allotment of 2000 calories.

Here are some calorie estimates to work with:

– four ounces = 160 calories, with gravy 260 calories
Sweet potato
– one medium = 110 calories
– candied = 305 calories
Mashed potatoes
– one cup = 210 calories
– one = 250 calories, without butter

Here are Nurse Herrington’s suggestions for a healthier Thanksgiving dinner.
Turkey white meat with skin – one cup diced = 276 calories
Bread stuffing – 1/2 cup = 190 calories
Mashed potatoes (whole milk and butter added) – 237 calories
Whole kernel corn (canned) – 1/2 cup = 60 calories
Turkey gravy (canned) – 1/2 cup = 60 calories
Dinner roll (white) – one roll = 120 calories
Butter – one tablespoon = 100 calories
Pumpkin pie (Libby’s recipe) – 1/8 of pie 319 calories

Total calories for this dinner = 1050 with 63.45 grams of fat – 102 grams of carbohydrates and 97 grams of protein.

Clearly this attention to portion control cuts the holiday feast down to manageable proportions. It still amounts to half of a 150 pound person’s 2000 calorie per day budget, but it lets you enjoy the day without blowing up your calorie allotment.


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Filed under holiday eating, turkey, Weight

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