Wicker Park Personal Training

"9 Dishes Doctors Won't Eat at Thanksgiving" Review

I have a pretty strict healthy eating routine so that I can fully enjoy special events like Thanksgiving...and I hope you can too! Even if you give yourself a pass you should still recognize these major Turkey-Day obstacles to weight loss. Don’t be discouraged...try my easy modifications/substitutions instead!



“If marshmallow-loaded candied yams are a tradition in your household it might be time to reconsider,” said Matthew Mullally, doctor of dental surgery. “Marshmallows are essentially pure sugar. Also, there’s really no reason to sweeten yams. Yams themselves are loaded with sweetness, as well as nutrients that don’t stick the surface of your teeth.”

Personal Trainer Modification: Be creative! Try a layer of baked mangoes, apples, or peaches for additional texture and subtle, natural sweetness.


“Appetizers are a good means of curbing your guests’ hunger before the meal,” Mullally said. “Still, appetizers that are fried or covered in bacon are going to be loaded with Streptococcus mutans (one of the main agents that allow plaque to grow) and its allies. Instead, consider serving vegetables like raw carrots, broccoli, and artichoke hearts, which naturally clean your teeth. These vegetables produce saliva, which washes away bacteria.”

Personal Trainer Modification: Even if you can’t pronounce Streptosomethingoranother, you clearly know the calorie heavy and fat sticking drawbacks of fried foods. I personally like raw vegetables…not love them. Try roasting root vegetables under the broiler for 8-12 minutes and serve them with a side of warm garlic hummus as an alternative.


“Homemade gravy is basically turkey fat, some turkey 'juice,' and white flour or cornstarch for thickening,” said Dana Simpler, MD. “This makes whatever you put it on a very high fat food. Consider an alternative gravy such as mushroom gravy.”

Personal Trainer Modification: Don’t be mistaken: Mushroom gravy isn’t a healthy alternative. No matter the path you choose, use all gravy sparingly.


“This is going to be healthier, but depends on how much butter is added,” Simpler said. “If you just use a can of condensed soup as your 'cream,' you can get away with a good tasting casserole without smothering it in fat. Of course the fried onion rings on top are another story.”

Personal Trainer Modification: Try cutting the butter and onion rings in half. Any other substitutes may completely change this traditional plate.


“The carbohydrates of potatoes enter the blood as glucose faster than table sugar,” said Barry Sears, MD, “This makes you tired and even more hungry.”

Personal Trainer Modification: And the milk and butter will give you cardiac arrest. Try substituting the dairy favorites coconut or almond milk and the potatoes with cauliflower.


If you choose not to drink adult beverages, soda is not a better option. “Drinking soda has serious consequences,” said Adam Splaver, MD, medical director of cardiovascular disease at Nano Health Association in Hollywood, Florida. “Regular soda promotes an insulin spike which leads to weight gain and can cause a host of metabolic disorders. Beyond the sugars, soda has phosphoric acid which can promote osteoporosis and may be a cancer-causing agent.”

Personal Trainer Modification: If you crave a soda, try adding soda water to an all-natural (no sugar) fruit juice instead. Don’t be surprised if this drink still delivers the same number of grams of sugar as a can of Coke though. Less is better in both cases.


“No Thanksgiving meal is complete without cranberry sauce,” Mullally said. “Store-bought cranberry sauces contain a ridiculous amount of sugar. It’s one of the reasons they taste so good. In its place, buy your own cranberries and make the sauce yourself. This way you can control the amount of sugar and show off some new skills in the kitchen.”

Personal Trainer Modification: Definitely make it yourself and substitute a portion of the sugar with applesauce.


“Baked goods generally have no nutritional value and often contain hidden saturated fat and hydrogenated shortenings, which may raise LDL levels, the bad cholesterol,” Splaver said. “The added sugar is high in fructose which can overload your liver and can cause insulin resistance which can lead to metabolic disorders including type 2 diabetes. Is that pecan pie really worth the risks?”

Personal Trainer Modification: Sugar, fat, sugar, fat….it’s starting to sound like a familiar broken record. Nevertheless, you should heed these warnings. At the end of the day, any sweet dish is better made at home to control the ingredients. Search for a vegan pie recipe and minimize the added sugar. Don’t be afraid!


“As for stuffing, which is primarily made of bread, that’s a heck of a lot of carbs,” Splaver said. “Plus the stuffing absorbs a lot of the fat from the turkey. Add in some sausage, and you are looking at a high-calorie, fat-laden, high-sodium choice.”

Personal Trainer Modification: Unfortunately, stuffing is essentially a “bread” recipe. If you remove the bread, the dish is no longer stuffing. Instead, add chopped root vegetables to create new (and familiar) textures and decrease the amount of bread. Also, eliminate the butter to cut down on the calories, fat, and inflammation.

Picture Credit: kitchen-tested.com – How will these foods test in your weight loss kitchen?

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness with excerpt sourced from the article " 9 Dishes Doctors Won't Eat at Thanksgiving" on The Daily Meal.
9 Dishes Doctors Won't Eat at Thanksgiving
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