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Mashed potatoes cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie—these holiday staples are indeed tasty, but if you’re trying to keep your carb intake in check, well, these dishes can send the needle on the scale in the wrong direction.
Save for the turkey, holiday feasts are frequently a carbohydrate onslaught, and often not the good-for-you kind like whole grains. Even healthier options like sweet potatoes are loaded up with marshmallows on this day, and green beans are coated with a layer of Fritos. Again, tasty but not exactly the most physique-friendly foods out there.
But you don’t have to resort to bland chicken breast and steamed broccoli when everyone else is fully embracing the gluttony. Thanksgiving is a time to have fun and cut loose a little bit—within reason. There’s no cause to ingest 4,500 calories in one sitting (the average amount consumed by Americans on this special day).
The key is to fortify the dinner table with a selection of carb-conscious dishes that pack big-time flavor and won’t leave you stuffed like a turkey.
As you can see from the holiday recipes we’ve put together, one of the perks of going low-carb on T-day is that it forces you to ramp up your reliance on vegetables—you know, those nutrient-packed morsels that most people should be eating more of anyway. In other words, this is a great chance to listen to the earliest diet advice you’ve ever been given.
So whether it’s time to feed a hungry crowd, or you just want a bounty of delicious leftovers, populate your holiday table with these better-body eats.