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Balancing Traditional Dishes and Health

Category: Patient Stories
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Turkey DinnerThanksgiving brings an abundance of food. According to Harvard Health Publications by Harvard Medical School, many of these healthy foods can retain good taste and nutrition if you can find recipes that aren’t loaded with sodium, sugars, and fat. Sodium can be hidden in many processed foods, and can be a problem if you don’t watch your intake, according to Mary W. Zbaracki, MPH, RD, LD, CDE, Aspirus St. Luke's Hospital Clinical Nutrition and Diabetes Care. "The more sodium in your diet, the greater your chances of developing hypertension, which can lead to heart disease, kidney failure, stroke, and other serious health conditions," she says.

With an emphasis on eating natural foods that are not processed, many traditional Thanksgiving dishes, such as these, can offer healthy choices:

When served skinless, turkey is lean, high in protein and low in fat.

Make your own sauce from whole cranberries, and you’ll get the benefits of a fruit loaded with antioxidants.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have provitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium, and fiber.

Pumpkin is low in fat and calories and high in many of the same nutrients as sweet potatoes.

Online, is one site that offers a variety of healthy recipes that will help you create healthy, tasty versions of traditional Thanksgiving foods.