Cholesterol in Thanksgiving Foods: What to Avoid

If you’re making it a point to follow a healthy diet every day in order to keep your weight in check and keep your cholesterol level down, you need to prepare yourself for the upcoming holiday season when you’ll be tempted by foods that are high in fat, cholesterol, and calories.

There can be a lot of cholesterol in Thanksgiving foods so continue reading to learn about the foods that you should avoid if you want to stay on track.

Margarine
Many people think that margarine is better for them than butter, but this isn’t always the case. While regular butter contains saturated fat and cholesterol, stick margarine, in particular, contains high amounts of trans fats if there are partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients. There are plant-based butters available that contain healthier oils and that have little to no cholesterol, so it is best to use them on your sweet potatoes, vegetables, breads, and other Thanksgiving foods.

Turkey
First off, if you want to avoid cholesterol or limit your intake of cholesterol at Thanksgiving, you definitely should not be frying up your turkey. But regardless of how you choose to prepare your turkey, you should avoid consuming the skin to make it a healthier food overall.

Many people think that they can eat a lot of light meat even if they have high cholesterol, but a 3 oz. serving of light meat without the skin contains about 48 mg of cholesterol, while dark meat will have around 67 mg. With the skin, the same 3 oz. serving of light meat will have 57 mg, while dark meat with skin will have around 74 mg of cholesterol. So if you end up consuming turkey that has anywhere from 70-80 mg of cholesterol, it’s a lot like eating beef.

When you’re at your Thanksgiving feast, limit the amount of turkey that you eat and stick with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables for the majority of your meal instead.

Gravy
When it comes to cholesterol in Thanksgiving foods, you need to also limit your intake of gravy. While you might be tempted to use a lot of gravy on your mashed potatoes, turkey, and stuffing, it’s best to only consume a small amount. In addition to cholesterol, gravy can also be high in sodium and fat.

Although there can be high amounts of cholesterol in Thanksgiving foods, you can still eat smart and enjoy a delicious feast for this special holiday.

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