Thanksgiving is only a few days away and we’re all looking forward to our favorite foods.  Before we binge on those foods, we thought you might be interested in the average projected calorie count for Turkey Day.

Thanks to our friends at the Calorie Control Council for their counting efforts.  The stunning thought is that we can easily consume 3,000 – 4,500 calories in that one day. 

We were wondering how that could happen in one day and found Consumer Report’s article measuring how those calories mount up.

This 3½-ounce portion of white meat with skin (about the size of a deck of cards) delivers just 177 calories, 6 grams of fat, and 30 grams of protein. The same amount of dark meat with skin has 206 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 27 grams of protein. To lighten the calorie load, skip the crispy skin and save roughly 30 calories per serving.

We spooned ½ cup of stuffing (the size of an ice cream scoop), adding about 195 calories to the plate.  In addition to that rather hefty calorie count, the stuffing contains 480 mg of sodium.

Sweet Potatoes
Four ounces (equivalent to 1 medium sweet potato) of homemade candied sweet potatoes adds 187 calories. These nutritional powerhouses are brimming with antioxidants that help fight inflammation and may protect against some types of cancers.  

Green Bean Casserole
This classic dish containing green beans, cream of mushroom soup, and crispy fried onions comes in at 227 calories for a ½-cup serving. The test recipe was from the Campbell’s can of Cream of Mushroom Soup. That’s a big calorie investment, especially considering that half a cup of plain green beans has only 20 calories.

Mashed Potatoes
One cup of mashed potatoes made with whole milk, butter, and salt adds 237 calories to the tally.

A ¼-cup ladle of gravy pulls the whole meal together at an economical 25 calories.  If you make your own using the turkey drippings, separating out the fat and using little salt will yield an even lower-cal gravy that’s also lower in sodium.

Cranberry Sauce
This quintessential Thanksgiving side dish packs 102 calories per ¼-cup serving. Because the berries are tart, most recipes call for a lot of sugar.

Pumpkin Pie
From a calorie standpoint, this is your best bet. One slice (1⁄8 of a 9-inch pie) of pumpkin pie has just 280 calories. By comparison, a slice of apple pie (1⁄8 of a 9-inch pie) supplies about 411 calories and a slice of pecan pie packs 500 calories.

Add a Little Portion Control

The most important thing you can do is to stick with sensible portion sizes.  Skipping meals – breakfast and/or lunch - the day of the feast is not the best plan either.  Eat smaller amounts for those meals instead of skipping them altogether.

Dean and Draper

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, laughter, and love.  Enjoy!

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

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