If you do choose to enjoy the not-so-good dishes, make sure you fill up your plate with the healthy Thanksgiving foods as well. We spoke with three medical doctors and a doctor of dental surgery about the Thanksgiving dishes that they absolutely won’t eat on Turkey Day.
“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.”
“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.”
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.”
“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.”
“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?”