Health Watch — Thanksgiving: Nutritional Choices

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 to keep the big Thanksgiving Day dinner from being hazardous to your health. Previously, we discussed traditional Thanksgiving foods that are actually good for you, such as turkey, cranberries and pumpkin. There are more foods that offer nutritional benefits, if you serve them the right way.

Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says sweet potatoes are a nutritional gold mine. They’re full of vitamins A, C and B-6, they’re low in fat and high in fiber and potassium. Just leave out all the butter and brown sugar when you prepare them. If you want to serve rice as a side dish, choose wild rice. It has more potassium, iron, calcium and niacin than white rice. Other foods that can add nutritional punch to your holiday meal include green beans and nuts — as long as those nuts aren’t in a pie.

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


November 2008