Health Watch — Thanksgiving: Cutting Calories

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about how you can keep the Thanksgiving dinner from being hazardous to your health. Previously, we discussed all the traditional Thanksgiving foods that are actually good for you. But that doesn’t mean the meal is low in calories.

Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says there are some strategies you can use to keep from eating too many calories in your feast. One thing you can do is start your meal with a big tossed salad full of fresh vegetables. That will fill you up on low-calorie food that’s good for you so you won’t eat as much of the more fattening, less nutritious foods. When you’re cooking, make substitutions to lower the calorie count, such as using broth instead of butter to sauté, substituting plain non-fat yogurt for sour cream or cream, non-fat milk for whole milk and calorie-free sweeteners for sugar.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in nutrition.


November 2008