ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Know Your Asthma Triggers
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Hip Replacement Boosts Mobility at Any Age
Osteoporosis May Raise Risk for Vertigo
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
CANCER
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Steady Weight Gain Boosts Late-Life Breast Cancer Risk
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
CAREGIVING
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
Health Tip: Benefitting From Adult Day Care
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Firefighters Have Narrower-Than-Normal Arteries, Study Finds
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
DIABETES
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Keep Stress Off the Holiday Meal Menu, Expert Advises
Coffee Beans May Be Newest Stress-Buster
Coffee Drinking Lowers Women's Stroke Risk
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Ozone Pollution Taking Toll on American Lives
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Home Renovations by Affluent Families Can Unleash Lead Threat
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Eye Care Checkups Tied to Insurance Status
FITNESS
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
GENERAL HEALTH
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
The Yearly Flu Shot Debate
Tune Up Your Health With Music
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Mom's Extra Pregnancy Pounds May Raise Child's Heart Risks
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
School Meals Need to Get Healthier
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Countdown to Hair Loss
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
Chocolate a Sweet Pick-Me-Up for the Depressed
PAIN
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
SENIORS
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Add your Article

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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