Heart Healthy Thanksgiving Ideas

Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: November 22, 2023

Heart Healthy Thanksgiving Ideas

Heart Healthy Thanksgiving Ideas

It’s the holiday season once again, and many of us are concerned about overeating at parties and get-togethers. If it has become a habit or even tradition, it can be a challenge to reset.

There is no real reason to or benefit from overindulgence. We all know the consequences and outcomes. If you overeat you don’t feel great, too full, your pants become too tight, you end up in a tryptophan-induced semi coma and if you add alcoholic beverages – the effect can be even more so.

If repeated at several gatherings, the result may also be unwanted and unintended weight gain. So many of the dishes we were brought up with are heavy, high-calorie treats.

Want a Healthy Thanksgiving?

Try and stick with:

Turkey – is always a great choice. High in protein 24g per serving with only 160 calories for a 3 oz. portion.

Mashed Potatoes – ½ a cup is only 118 calories and can help boost your potassium, calcium, vitamin D, and iron for the day.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes– ½ a cup 184 calories with the same benefits as regular potatoes with the benefit of sweetness to help stave off sugar cravings at dessert time.

Butternut Squash – ½ a cup is just 42 calories! Squash adds much-needed fiber to your diet as well as Vitamin D, Calcium, and iron.

Now we know you are going to say – What about the butter? Yes, butter adds both fat and calories so use it sparingly if you are concerned with your macros. Butter- 1 pat of butter is 36 calories and 4 g of fat.

Thanksgiving Salads – While these vary in ingredients, types of lettuce, spinach, or other leaves are very low in, well, everything and yet add vitamins and minerals. Other sliced and cubed veggies are the same. They add fiber, roughage, crunch, texture, and taste to a meal. They also help with digestion and water intake all while remaining lower calorie. Just watch the dressings!

We all love the heavier items  – Stuffing in particular can pack a carb-based wallop. The general rule is of course, enjoy yourself. If you want an item, eat it, but do it sparingly. Fill half the plate with salad and veggies, ¼ with meat and proteins, and the other ¼ with carbs such as stuffing and cranberry sauce which, yes is fruit, but is primarily sugar.

Alcohol – Moderation is key. Over consumption raises blood pressure, lead to potential addiction issues, and can be hard on the kidneys, liver, and heart. A glass of wine or spirits here or there on occasion should not hurt you if you do not have underlying conditions or predisposed genetics. Red wine in particular has some heart healthy benefits such as resveratrol.

ADVICE: After dinner and before seconds, get up, stretch, take a walk around the block.  Movement not only burns calories, it helps your body more easily digest what you just ate.

All of us at Tampa Cardiovascular Associates wish you a happy healthy fun-filled thanksgiving full of memories you will cherish for a lifetime.


Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: 22/11/2023

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