Love Thanksgiving but hate the way you feel afterward? The holiday doesn't have to spell food coma, if you know which dishes you can eat with abandon—and which you should abandon entirely.
Go Ahead and Indulge:

Turkey in a panTurkey Breast
Skip the thighs—each one contains more calories than a thick slice of prime rib. Skinless white meat, on the other hand, is a top source of lean protein, with only 102 calories in three small slices.

Sweet potatoesSweet Potatoes
These veggies are rich in fiber and low in calories (just 125 per half cup). Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon, which has been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels.

Vegetables and dipCrudités and Healthy Dip
Dunk fiber-rich carrots, celery, and bell peppers in hummus instead of ranch dressing, and you'll gain a gram each of protein and fiber per 25-calorie tablespoon.

Red wineRed Wine
Pour yourself a small glass of Pinot Noir. Compared with other reds, it's richest in resveratrol, a compound that has been shown to reduce the risk of blood clots.

Despite its bad reputation, gravy isn't a diet disaster. Even the giblets have less fat than you'd expect (about one gram per ounce). So ladle up: A quarter cup has just 50 calories.

Dishes to eat in moderation...or maybe avoid altogether

Keep Servings Small:

Made straight from the box, one-half cup of stuffing packs a not-too-terrible 107 calories, compared with at least 300 calories for homemade batches.

Take a Tiny Spoonful:

Cranberry sauceCranberry Sauce
Just one-half cup contains four tablespoons of added sugar and 210 calories. A better bet: unsweetened applesauce, which hits the same cool, fruity note with a quarter of the sugar.

BiscuitsBiscuits or Cornbread
Buttermilk biscuits pack more than 200 calories each (a cornbread muffin runs close behind with 175). Instead, score healthful whole grains with one small whole wheat roll.

Green beansGreen Bean Casserole
What happens when you douse a vegetable with creamy canned soup and fried onions? You get a dish that contains nearly as much fat as you'd get from a small hamburger—in a single cup.

Guide to the best and worst holiday desserts

Your guide on what to savor and what to skip this Thanksgiving, from best to worst.
112 calories, 7 grams fat

Apple CrispApple Crisp
227 calories, 5 grams fat

Pumpkin PiePumpkin Pie
316 calories, 14 grams fat

401 calories, 28 grams fat

Chocolate MousseChocolate Mousse
454 calories, 32 grams fat

Pecan PiePecan Pie
503 calories, 27 grams fat

O's all-time favorite Thanksgiving menus...

And what to do with the leftovers

Photos: Levi Brown


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