Avera Medical Minute: Do's & Don'ts Of Thanksgiving - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute: Do's & Don'ts Of Thanksgiving

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Your health shouldn't take a holiday just because you're celebrating one.  Registered Dieticians say the only thing that should be stuffed to the neck this Thanksgiving is the bird.

The actual Thanksgiving meal isn't bad for you. Three helpings of it is however. Turkey alone is nice and lean stick to the white meat minus the skin, bake your sweet potatoes without the marsh mellows and brown sugar, and don't go overboard on the stuffing or you'll be packing extra stuffing by weeks end. Avera Heart Hospital Registered Dietician Nikki Ver Steeg also suggests setting up your meal buffet style away from the dinner table. When the food isn't sitting in front of you on the table it's less tempting to keep adding to your plate.

Nikki says, "So many things are very tasty that we don't have all the time so if you want to enjoy them just take smaller portions and you do the dishing. Don't let anyone else do the dishing for you, that way you decide how large of portion you want or maybe you cut everything in 1/2 and try a little of everything instead of one big piece of something.

Speaking of pieces, Nikki says go ahead and have a piece of pumpkin pie, but if you want to save on calories don't eat the crust. If you are really good take off the bottom crust too. Don't pile on the whip cream either. It's best to make your own, but if you are baking challenged, use light cool whip. Better yet,  whip cream out of the can because it doesn't have hydrogenated oil in it.

Nikki says, "Otherwise you can make pumpkin whip and sprinkle nuts on top that way you still get the crunch with it without the extra bad calories and you get healthier fat calories from nuts."

Nikki says it's also important to not put steaming hot food in the fridge. After you eat de-bone the turkey and don't ever store the food in the pan you cooked in (it takes even longer for it to cool down). Store in shallow containers. If food is still warm put it in the fridge without a lid and stir occasionally until it's cooled. Once it's cool then put the lids on. Also send leftovers with guests but they should be in coolers with ice. (Hint, hint: Bring a cooler with you if you plan to take home leftovers) No one wants bacteria to be one of the sides on Black Friday.

Leftovers are only good for 3 days. If you aren't going to eat it all in that time you should freeze it.


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