Not that it will make any difference in how much you enjoy what may be your largest meal of the year, but these facts provided by Consumer Reports about some of our favorite Thanksgiving foods, could actually make your feel a bit better about indulging.

  • Turkey - My mom always relied on that pop-up timer and thank God no one ever got food poisoning, because the truth is- -they're not that reliable! Different parts of the turkey cook faster than others. So you should always use those handy-dandy instant-read thermometers to check & make sure all the parts are at a toasty 165 degrees before you nosh on them! Dark meat is nutritionally more beneficial because it has more of a protein that sends oxygen to your muscles, but white meat is lower in calories.
  • Potatoes - Yukon Golds make better mashed taters because they're more nutritious, thanks to carotenoids (which gives them their color), the same healthy antioxidants you find in carrots & yams. They're also loaded with potassium which helps keep your blood pressure low. Plus they have a naturally buttery flavor, so you can add less butter, and sour cream, and cream cheese, and bacon bits. (So I've been told).
  • Yams - Yup, loaded with anti-oxidants and yup again- -they are sweet potatoes, but not all sweet potatoes are yams. Real yams are white starchy vegetables with brown skin that are native to the Caribbean! What we know as "yams" come in multiple colors from the familiar orange all the way to purple!
  • Pumpkin - A veggie, not a fruit, loaded with vital vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and delicious to boot! Yes, it's great in pie, but I've mixed it with sage, heavy cream, salt & pepper, and a little garlic & served it over pumpkin gnocchi - -delicious!
  • Cranberries - A fruit rich in antioxidants, vitamins & minerals and not just great for Thanksgiving, but year-round! They freeze really well, so buy them now & keep them for use in the weeks ahead.

I was going to add Brussels Sprouts to this list but I only know about 5 other people who love them as much as I do. Suffice it to say, you're truly missing out on a delicious and super nutritious veggie.

Oh I know, in this part of the world what I should be talking about is the ubiquitous Green Bean Casserole. I can tell you that if it's made in the traditional way, just, a one-cup serving has about 8 grams of fat.

And don't get me started on my true favorite--stuffing. They didn't even mention it. Apparently, a whole lot of bread, butter, and other luscious ingredients doesn't land on the healthy foods list!

So, now you have all the info you need to claim your Thanksgiving plate is loaded with stuff that really is good for you! That's my story and I'm sticking with it!

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You Need To Have These 10 Foods On Your Thanksgiving Table