ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
The Zen Way to Pain Relief
Soybean Chemicals May Reduce Effects of Menopause
Holistic Treatment for Candida Infection
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
Breast-feeding Might Shield Women From Rheumatoid Arthritis
Arthritis Hits More Than Half of Diabetics
CANCER
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Minorities Distrust Medical System More
Many Ignore Symptoms of Bladder Trouble
CAREGIVING
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
Few Hospitals Embracing Electronic Health Record Systems
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
DENTAL, ORAL
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
DIABETES
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Abnormal Heart Rhythm Boosts Death Risk for Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
The Best Diet? That Depends on You
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Exposure to 9/11 Fumes Tied to Chronic Headaches
Ozone-Depleting Inhalers Being Phased Out
EYE CARE, VISION
High Temps Degrade Contact Lens Solution: Study
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
FITNESS
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
Fliers Can Keep Blood Clots at Bay
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
GENERAL HEALTH
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Ingredient in Dark Chocolate Could Guard Against Stroke
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Shedding Light on Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help the Heart
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Help Your Kids Stay Active
Folic Acid Reduces Infant Heart Defects
Gene Variation Found in Boys With Delinquent Peers
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Common Social Groups and Race, Seem to Help People Relate
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Simple Carbs Pose Heart Risk for Women
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
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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