Thanksgiving Meal Health Tips

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Thanksgiving Day is the official start of the holiday eating season. Most people admit they overeat on Thanksgiving Day, but don’t realize how much they consume. Did you know eating a big meal can be hazardous to your health? QUESTION: HOW HARMFUL IS EATING A BIG THANKSGIVING MEAL? Eating high calorie meals not only stimulates fat synthesis and fat storage, leading to weight gain, but also puts stress on the body. Big meals increase insulin levels and blood fats, resulting in increased triglyceride levels, LDL levels and inflammation, while lowering HDL levels. This can be especially dangerous for people with diabetes and heart disease because it increases the risk for heart attack and stroke. THANKSGIVING QUIZ 1.How many calories does the average Thanksgiving dinner provide? a) 500 b) 1,000 c) 2,000 d) 4,000 ANSWER: C 2.What can we do to reduce the harmful effects of a big meal? a) drink red wine b) walk before dinner c) eat a handful of walnuts d) skip dessert ANSWER: A, B, C 3.Which has more calories: a) ½ cup mashed potatoes and gravy b) ½ cup sweet potato casserole ANSWER: A 4.Which has more calories: a) ½ cup bread stuffing b) ½ cup macaroni and cheese ANSWER: B 5.Cranberries help to reduce which of the following: a) heart disease b) inflammation c) urinary tract infections d) cancer ANSWER: A, B, C, D 6.What makes people sleepy on Thanksgiving? a) turkey b) mashed potatoes c) pumpkin pie d) eating too much ANSWER: D 7.What is the recommended safe temperature of a cooked turkey? a) 155 degrees F b) 165 degrees F c) 170 degrees F d) 180 degrees F ANSWER: B Other Thanksgiving Health Tips Researchers found taking antioxidant supplements (vitamin C and E) before a large meal can reduce the harmful effects of the meal. Taking a walk or some other form of exercise before dinner can help to stimulate fat clearing enzymes that reduce triglycerides. Resveratrol in red wine reduces aging and diabetes in people who eat high fat diets. Walnuts reduce inflammation and oxidation and improve artery function when eaten after a high fat meal. Eat small meals during the day, including a light breakfast that takes the edge off, so you don’t overeat later. Focus on the foods you love the most and eat those first. Don’t fill up on foods you don’t like or can eat anytime. Eat more slowly to control your appetite, satiety and portion sizes. Chew your food twice as long as you are used to. Limit alcohol intake because it stimulates appetite and removes inhibitions. It makes you eat more without the guilt. Include foods high in fiber and antioxidants to minimize damage to cells. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Calorie Counts Bread dressing or stuffing: ½ cup – 180 calories Macaroni and cheese: ½ cup – 250 calories Mashed potatoes: ½ cup – 237 calories Candied sweet potatoes: ½ cup – 175 calories Pumpkin pie: 1 slice – 315 calories (2 tablespoons whipped cream – 51 calories) Apple pie: 1 slice – 410 calories