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WI Health Advocates: Avoid A Thanksgiving Stuffing

November 23, 2009

MADISON, Wisc. - You don't have to put your heart at risk to enjoy the Thanksgiving feast. A few simple changes in the way you approach the holiday table can make a huge difference.

Donna Weihoffen is a senior nutritionist at the University of Wisconsin Hospital. She says you can avoid a bunch of calories by focusing on the "guest of honor."

"Go for the turkey. The turkey is a calorie bargain. The white meat is lower in calories than the dark meat, but the dark meat isn't that high."

Weihoffen says you also can save calories by surveying the table first and then planning what you will eat. Cutting back on gravy, butter and sugar-laden food leaves plenty of room for potatoes, veggies and whole grains that fill you up without filling you out.

Getting some exercise during the day also is a great way to mitigate the holiday meal, she adds - and that doesn't have to mean running a marathon on Thanksgiving.

"After dinner - wouldn't that be just the perfect time for everybody to take a walk around the block?"

According to the American Heart Association, walking is a very effective and easy way to help keep your heart in great shape.

More information on heart-healthy holiday fare is available at

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - WI