Healthy Thanksgiving Foods: 5 Items To Be Thankful For

Healthy Thanksgiving FoodsBy the Registered Dietitians at 2 Your Health

Do you have specific concerns such as renal function, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease to manage this holiday season? When addressing kidney health it is important to monitor sodium, potassium, and phosphorous intake, eliminate unnecessary additives or preservatives, and control portion sizes. Whether you are addressing a health condition or trying to cut back on calories, the tips below will help make it easier to incorporate health and enjoyment this holiday season.

Healthy Thanksgiving Foods

  1. Turkey- Enhance the flavor, shake off the salt. If you are opting to gobble up turkey this thanksgiving it is important to choose products with minimal processing or heavy preservatives. This will naturally lower the sodium and preservative content that may be less than healthy. For example, some brands such as Perdue Fresh Whole Turkey®  claim to have just 50 mg (2%) of salt per 3 oz. serving, a great low-sodium option. Be sure to read the nutrition facts label as well as the ingredient list. Low-sodium is considered 140 mg or less per serving.1  Use natural seasonings and spices or fresh herbs like rosemary, garlic, or thyme to add flavor without the sodium.
  2. Green Beans- The staple for a timeless casserole. Did you know Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole is the most sought after recipe from Campbell’s, bringing enjoyment to meal time for over 57 years? Try fresh or frozen green beans to avoid added salt and seal in the good-for-you benefits. Maximizing the goodness of the vitamin-rich green beans, this recipe is a new take on an old standby to reduce sodium, phosphorous content while keeping the delicious texture and flavor. Click here for a delicious 2YH-Certified Green Bean Casserole Recipe.
  3. Cranberries- One of nature’s ruby’s. What meal would be complete without cranberry sauce? Cranberries are high in antioxidants and vitamin C that fight free radical damage and oxidative stress. Cranberries have also been touted to prevent urinary tract infections and have antifungal properties. Instead of choosing that shelf-stable grocery store can of cranberry sauce revel in the delight of this easy relish recipe.  Click here for a scrumptuous 2YH-Certified Cranberry Relish Recipe
  4. Vegetables- A cornucopia of choices.  Some lower phosphorous and potassium foods that can also be great additives to stuffing, side salads, or easily stand-alone include celery, snap peas, cucumber, cauliflower, and sweet peppers.2 The high water and fiber content make these healthy choices and satisfying options. Pick one or two vegetable to steam or sauté with olive oil, onions, and Mrs. Dash for quick and tasty bites by the forkful.
  5. Pumpkin- It is the great one, Charlie Brown.  Rich in vitamins A and C, and low in calories (26 calories per 100 g) pumpkins are also a good source of fiber. Pumpkins can be turned into soups, breads, or desserts and double as an easy snack by roasting the seeds. Don’t have time to carve, scoop and puree? Canned pumpkin can be an easy alternative to incorporate those nutrients into a tasty dessert or side dish.  Click here for an amazing 2YH-Certified Pumpkin Bread Recipe

1. Mahan LK and Escott-Stump S. Krause’s Food, Nutrition and Diet Therapy. Saunders Elsevier: St. Louis, MI; 12th ed. 2008, pg 894.
2. Escott-Stump S. Nutrition and Diagnosis Related Care.7th ed. Baltimore, MD; 2011, pg. 870.

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Author: Carla Spencer

Carla Spencer is a Registered Dietitian and founder of 2 Your Health. Her extensive career working with individuals with health challenges led her to create this site dedicated to helping people enjoy their lives while working to prevent or minimize the impact of kidney disease.

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