ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Yoga May Bring Calm to Breast Cancer Treatment
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Healthy adults have potential autoimmune disease-causing cells
For All Their Plusses, Pets Pose a Risk for Falls, Too
Vitamin K Doesn't Slow Bone Loss
CANCER
Some Spices Cut Cancer Risk That Comes With Grilled Burgers
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
CAREGIVING
Exercise During Pregnancy May Help Baby
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
DIABETES
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
5 Reasons why you could gain weight while dieting
To Feel Better, Low-Fat Diet May Be Best
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
What's Cookin'? It Could Be Air Pollution
Prenatal Exposure to Traffic Pollution May Lead to Asthma
Showerheads Harbor a Bounty of Germs
EYE CARE, VISION
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
Too Much Sun, Too Few Antioxidants Spell Eye Trouble
FITNESS
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
Basketball Star Details His Struggle With Gout
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Afternoon Nap Might Make You Smarter
For Women, Moderate Midlife Drinking Linked to Healthier Old Age
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
More Medicinal Uses for Pomegranate
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Combo Treatment Eases Wheezing in Babies
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Time to Remind Teens About Sun Protection
MEN'S HEALTH
Countdown to Hair Loss
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
MENTAL HEALTH
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Vitamin D May Help Keep Aging at Bay
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
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Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance

By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Ready, set, eat.

On Thanksgiving Day, the average American will consume 3,000 calories and 229 grams of fat at the average holiday feast, according to a tally provided by the American Council on Exercise.

That's the caloric equivalent of 5.5 Big Macs from McDonald's, or 15 Supreme Tacos from Taco Bell, according to ACE.

But even if just these facts make you feel stuffed, you still don't have to go cold turkey on the turkey and trimmings to eat healthily.

There are ways to minimize calories and still keep the flavor and fun, said Ruth Frechman, a registered dietitian in Burbank, Calif., and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Step one is awareness on how a traditional Thanksgiving dinner can add up to more than 3,000 calories, she said. She breaks it down the following way:

* Egg nog -- 684 calories and 36 grams of fat for two cups
* Dark turkey meat --187 calories and 7.2 grams of fat per 3.5-oz serving
* Candied sweet potatoes -- 286 calories and 7.8 grams of fat per cup
* Green bean casserole -- 366 calories and 26 grams of fat per cup
* Cranberry sauce -- 86 calories, 0 grams fat, per slice
* Mashed potatoes -- with whole milk and butter -- 222 calories and 9 grams of fat per one-cup serving
* Gravy -- 30 calories and 2 grams of fat per 1/4 cup
* Dinner rolls -- 340 calories and 8 grams of fat without butter (add 202 calories and 24 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons butter)
* Corn bread stuffing -- 180 calories and 9 grams of fat per cup
* Pumpkin pie -- 316 calories and 14 grams of fat per slice
* Pecan pie -- 502 calories and 27 grams of fat per slice
* Wine -- 100 calories, 0 grams fat per 5-ounce glass

Grand tally: 3,501 and 170 grams of fat, a bit above the ACE calorie estimate and a bit below its fat gram prediction.

"The average Thanksgiving meal would be between 2,500 and 4,000 calories," Frechman said. Clearly, that's much more than the average person needs, but with a little restraint and keeping it to a one-day splurge, not that much damage will be done, she added.

"If you know you are going to overeat, balance it with physical activity," Frechman said. "Try to incorporate other things besides eating, such as going for a walk before or after dinner."

Another winning strategy: take a smaller portion of everything so you won't feel deprived, she said.

And keep the day's most important goal in mind.

"The purpose of this is to get together with family and friends, so focus more on the socializing than the food," Frechman said.

More information

To learn more about healthy eating, visit the American Dietetic Association.

Gobbling Wisely on Turkey Day:

Staying healthy and on track on Thanksgiving isn't impossible. Just exercise some restraint, learn a few cooking tricks and build activity into your holiday rituals, suggested Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

* On the day of the feast, always eat breakfast, she said. Otherwise, you'll be famished by the time the dinner hour arrives. Faced with the feast, pace yourself. "Start with something light, like vegetables," she said. They'll tend to fill you up and reduce the risk of overeating."
* If you're the cook, or you contribute to a potluck, you can control the calories and fat, Moore said. Take stuffing, for example. "One of the best ways to reduce the calories is to add things such as cranberries and celery," Moore said. You've upped the nutritional value and fiber and reduced the calories without compromising the taste. Instead of using gobs of butter for veggie dishes, substitute spices.
* Make activity part of your holiday ritual. "Organize a game of touch football before dessert," Moore suggested. "Plan it ahead of time and get everyone excited about it."



SOURCES: Marisa Moore, R.D., registered dietitian, and American Dietetic Association spokesperson, Atlanta; Ruth Frechman, R.D., registered dietitian, and American Dietetic Association spokesperson, Burbank, Calif.; November 2008 news release, American Council on Exercise, San Diego

Last Updated: Nov. 27, 2008

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