Feast Sensibly: Advice for a Healthier Thanksgiving

November 21, 2017

Thanksgiving is upon us, and with that comes a large table piled-high with delicious, savory dishes, many that might not make the top list of “superfoods”.

Physicians have varying opinions on how certain foods may or may not promote good health. For example, many agree that certain berries, especially cranberries, can help prevent UTIs and some bladder infections. That’s because they contain a substance called flavonols, which may prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder.

So, does that mean piling high the cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving Day? Probably not, as the sugar in most recipes offsets any value the berries may offer. Similarly, you may think whole grain rolls instead of traditional sweet rolls are a healthy choice. They are, until you layer on the butter or cream.

My general advice about Thanksgiving: follow a normal first-half-of-the-day routine, exercise portion control and stay hydrated.

  • Treat the first part of your day like any other, eating a balanced breakfast and light lunch. Forgoing your early meals and saving up your calories so you can eat a big dinner just may backfire on you. If you go into Thanksgiving extra hungry you’re more likely to overeat. Follow your normal workout routine or, if time doesn’t permit, at least squeeze in a short walk before dinner. You will go into dinner feeling energized and in a healthier mindset, helping you stay more conscious of making good choices when it comes to portion sizes. 
  • It’s tempting to want to try all the foods being served. After all, how often do you get to eat Aunt Mary’s pecan pie? Instead of piling on full servings of everything, try one tablespoon of each item. You will be amazed how quickly these tablespoons add up and fill a plate. Then, if you’re still craving seconds you’ll be better able to choose the one or two items you like best. 
  •  Stay hydrated. Water is a good idea any day of the year; however, it can be especially important around the holidays. It helps our bodies function at their best and can help compensate for high-salt meals. Filling up on water also helps curb your appetite. Try alternating between water and whatever your favorite Thanksgiving drink is, especially if it contains alcohol or sugar. 8 x 8 is an easy rule to remember about how much you should drink a day: eight 8-oz glasses of water a day. 

Thanksgiving is a day where most of us will stray a little from our good health practices, and that’s okay. Keep this advice in mind, and it might just make getting back into a healthy routine on Black Friday a little easier. 

Wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving from all of us at The Urology Group.

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