ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Cuts Dry Mouth in Cancer Patients
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Put Your Best Foot Forward Next Year
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Scientists Discover How Osteoarthritis Destroys Cartilage
CANCER
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
CAREGIVING
TV Watching Doesn't Fast-Track Baby's Skills
For Dialysis Patients, More Pills = Lower Quality of Life
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
DIABETES
Insulin Resistance Tied to Peripheral Artery Disease
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
DIET, NUTRITION
Healthy Eating While On Vacation
Herb Shows Potential for Rheumatoid Arthriti
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
Vitamin D Deficit May Trigger MS Risk Gene
EYE CARE, VISION
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Eye Disease, Cognitive Decline Linked in Study
Action-Filled Video Games Boost Adult Vision
FITNESS
Football Can Shrink Players
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
Kids More Apt to Smoke If Mom Did While Pregnant
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
MEN'S HEALTH
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
MENTAL HEALTH
The Unmedicated Mind
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
Using the Mind to Heal the Heart
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
SENIORS
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Exercise Benefits Even the Oldest Old
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Calcium Helps Ward Off Colon Cancer
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
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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