(HealthyResearch.com) – Just about everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving is guilty of at least a little overindulgence. With so much food, good company and maybe even a spirit or two, it can be hard to keep track of all the calories we’re taking in.
Thanksgiving is a day of bounty; that’s what the tradition is all about. Still, that’s no reason to let the plate pile too high. We took a serious look at the number of calories in some of the most common Thanksgiving food choices, and the tally was shocking.
Roasted Turkey: 195 Calories
The star of most traditional Thanksgiving dinners, roasted turkey is relatively low in fat while high in protein. A 3 1/12-ounce serving — roughly the size of a deck of playing cards — can vary nutritionally, depending on which part of the bird the person is eating.
According to the University of Illinois, a serving of turkey breast will total anywhere between 161 and 194 calories, depending on whether the skin is removed. Dark meat varies between 192 and 232 calories per serving.
Honey-Baked Ham: 170 Calories
Sweet and savory, Honey-Baked Ham is another holiday tradition in many families. Spiral cut on the bone, this selection adds about 170 calories per 3-ounce serving. It’s also packed with salt, warns Health Discovery Network, so people on low-sodium diets might want to steer clear.
Mashed Potatoes: 92 Calories
This yummy homemade favorite is a great source of potassium, and it even offers small amounts of protein and fiber. Salted to taste, it can add a bit of sodium to the meal, and it’s also high in carbs. Still, it adds a serving of veggies, along with a gram of fiber, to the plate.
Gravy: 90 Calories
Mashed potatoes aren’t quite so mouthwatering without a generous addition of gravy, and depending on how heavy the recipe is on the drippings, a serving can double their calories. Butterball’s recipe, which calls for mostly broth, adds 90 calories per serving.
Cornbread or Dinner Roll: 233-237 Calories
Thanksgiving wouldn’t feel quite complete without cornbread or dinner rolls. A serving of cornbread is about 137 calories, while an average-sized dinner roll is about 133 — but what’s either without a nice, 100-calorie pat of butter on top?
Candied Sweet Potato: 90 Calories
Also commonly called candied yams, candied sweet potato contains 8 grams of added sugars and 18 grams of carbs. It’s a good source of calcium, however, and has some potassium and a gram of fiber, so this dish isn’t a total loss.
Green Bean Casserole: 119 Calories
Another holiday favorite, green bean casserole is an easy side that’s deceptively delicious. Campbell’s recipe, which calls for canned green beans, cream of mushroom soup and french-fried onions, is high in carbs and sodium. It has small amounts of a handful of vitamins, and it even offers some calcium and iron, but it also has over 3 grams of saturated fat per half-cup serving.
Stuffing: 140 Calories
Thanksgiving isn’t complete without the stuffing, but a mere ½-cup serving will add a nice, extra side of calories, carbs and sodium to the meal. Use cubes of whole-grain bread for better vitamin and mineral content — and make sure to add plenty of celery and onion for additional fiber and a bit of crunch.
Cranberry Sauce: 110 Calories
Whether it’s homemade or from a can, this tangy holiday treat can pack a powerful punch of sugars and carbohydrates. Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce contains a whopping 110 calories — and that’s if you don’t go back for more.
Pumpkin or Pecan Pie: 292-700 Calories
Pumpkin pie comes with the season, but it may also come with a price to the waistline. According to EatingWell, each serving is heavy on calories — about 292, to be precise. A slice does offer 7 grams of protein and 482 milligrams of potassium, but it also contains a whopping 42 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fat, 22 grams of added sugars and a nice dose of sodium. When topped with whipped cream, pumpkin pie can add a whopping 500 calories to your plate.
If apple pie is your favorite, you might be consuming about 345 calories.
If you prefer pecan pie, you might be taking in even more calories. According to the Food Network, traditionally prepared pecan pie has about 500 calories per serving — and if you like yours topped with vanilla ice cream, you might be taking in a total of 700 calories.
The Full Meal
The above foods come to a total of 1,533 to 1,941 calories — and that’s assuming diners stick to single servings of each. This total also doesn’t account for any snacking earlier in the day or the calories soda and/or alcohol add to the tally, so consider this estimate to be on the low end. Keep in mind that certain recipes might add even more calories than the estimates listed above, but it’s also possible to make healthier variations, as well.
With so many mouth-watering foods to choose from, it can be easy to go overboard on Thanksgiving. Some people are good with the occasional overindulgence, but individuals watching their health may want to dial back the plate size. After all, we might have a tradition of getting a little excessive, but what better way to give thanks than to show a bit of discretion and save plenty for leftovers?
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
Copyright 2020, HealthyResearch.com