Delicious and Nutritious

Elizabeth Rund

Thanksgiving may be a time to give thanks for all we have, but for most, it means a good, hearty, home-cooked meal.

Many students are like first year community counseling graduate student Alexandra Koons — they indulge in the best foods this American tradition has to offer.

Weighing in on some Thanksgiving day favorites

-3 ounces of sliced white meat

= 108 calories and 3 grams of fat

-4 ounces of dark meat

= 214 calories and 8 grams of fat

-1/2 cup of gravy

= 46 calories and 2 grams of fat

-1/2 cup of mashed potatoes

= 111 calories and 4 grams of fat

-1/2 cup of dressing

= 195 calories and 5 grams of fat

-1/2 cup of cranberry sauce

= 208 calories and 0 grams of fat

-1/2 cup of green bean casserole

= 161 calories and 11 grams of fat

-1/2 cup of corn pudding

= 193 calories and 12 grams of fat

-One dinner roll

= 85 calories and 2 grams of fat

-One slice of a nine-inch apple pie

= 411 calories and 19 grams of fat

-1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream

= 133 calories and 7 grams of fat

-Two tablespoons of regular whipped cream

= 104 calories and 7 grams of fat

Source: The Jewish Hospital Cholesterol Center of the Heath Alliance Nutrition News

“We have turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie,” Koons said.

Other students are a little more unconventional.

“I went to Ponderosa last year because it was the only place open,” said Tom Towers, senior biochemistry major.

Towers had hoped to grab a takeout meal, but the buffet prevented him from taking anything home but some sides.

“I had macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and some rice,” Towers said.

Despite the different menus, Thanksgiving can coax even the most health-conscience into over-indulgence.

According to the Jewish Hospital Cholesterol Center of the Health Alliance, the average Thanksgiving dinner packs about 1,861 calories and 74.5 grams of fat. That is almost 95 percent of the recommended daily caloric intake.

The Alliance also states that one high-calorie, high-fat meal can put a person at greater risk for a stroke or heart attack.

Fear not — there are still plenty of ways to enjoy turkey with all the fixings but not the calories.

The Mayo Clinic’s November 2006 Health Letter made some suggestions including roasting the turkey on a rack so fat drips off and is not reabsorbed into the meat.

The letter also suggests cooking the stuffing in a separate covered dish to avoid absorbing fat and to use low-fat or skim milk in recipes for pies or mashed potatoes.

The Alliance also recommends cooking the stuffing outside the bird — making it dressing.

Dressing allows the turkey to cook faster and cuts down on the total amount of fat for the meal, which could please some diners.

“The stuffing and turkey are my favorite,” Koons said.

Contact features reporter Elizabeth Rund at [email protected].