Thanksgiving foods healthy all year long

Nov. 16, 2012 at 11:47 PM
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ST. LOUIS, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Each of the traditional Thanksgiving foods is healthy in its own right and deserves to be eaten many times during the year, a U.S. registered dietitian says.

Amy Moore, a registered dietitian and instructor in the department of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University, said turkey, the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving dinners, is low in fat, high in protein and rich in minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium and B vitamins. Plus, it's relatively inexpensive.

"From a dietitian's point of view, sweet potatoes are a dream come true because they're packed with vitamin A and beta-carotene, and are naturally sweet. I like to see sweet potatoes instead of mashed on Thanksgivings," Moore said in a statement.

The traditional marshmallow-topped casserole is OK for the holiday, but for other meals, scrub their jackets, bake in a 350 degree F oven for a half hour or until they can be pierced with a fork, slit down the middle, squeeze from both ends and sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon.

Cranberry, rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, is a plus all year round.

"I love the variety of vegetables at Thanksgiving. Branch out from the traditional green bean casserole. Roasting vegetables is an easy way to bring out their natural sweetness," Moore said. "Combine carrots, beets and Brussels sprouts in a pan, spritz on some olive oil and bake in a 350 degree F oven uncovered for 20 to 40 minutes. Stir halfway through."

Thanksgiving pies -- pecan, pumpkin or apple -- are all full of antioxidants and fiber, Moore added.

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