A dummy’s guide to the healthiest ways to eat Thanksgiving turkey


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So you’re determined to eat healthy during the next six weeks of holiday preparation and celebration. That’s great! We’re right on board with you, along with every other health food story that will provide tips to beat the bulge. So let’s kick off this Turkey Day by shooting down (see what we did there?) a surprisingly unhealthy frenemy: your Thanksgiving bird. 

Yes, poultry is leaner than red meat, which generally makes it lower in fat and healthier, but slight decisions in how you cook and consume your holiday bird could make a huge difference in calories and fat. 


White vs. dark meat

It’s a timeless battle in many of our families: breast versus leg. It turns out that the differences are actually very small, although the dark meat in a turkey leg has slightly more iron than white meat of a breast.



Grass-fed organic turkeys really do offer more nutrients than those restricted to a life without access to pastures and fed antibiotics.


The cooking

Keeping your turkey moist and flavorful can be tricky if you’re trying to stay away from slathering it in butter. Using apple cider or honey and thyme to brine your bird will preserve the flavor, keep it juicy and keep away the unnecessary fats.


The fixings 

Gravy and stuffing cooked inside of the bird can add unnecessary calories to your Thanksgiving turkey. If you must consume your turkey with gravy, make one with reduced-fat butter and reduced-sodium broth or stock. Likewise, packing your stuffing with fruits, vegetables and nuts will trim calories.