Surprisingly Unhealthy Thanksgiving Foods You Are Probably Eating

Don’t Eat That Food!

There are so many delicious foods that you can choose from when preparing and of course eating a Thanksgiving meal. But unfortunately there is actually quite a few foods that you might consider eating, that are actually incredibly unhealthy. This article will detail a few commonly eaten dishes at Thanksgiving that are surprisingly unhealthy if eaten in excess. Some of the foods you might recognize, but I promise you that the last one might shock you.

Unhealthy Thanksgiving Foods


First on the list is stuffing. Although not particularly the most popular Thanksgiving dish, stuffing is eaten by some parties. Unfortunately, stuffing has a large amount of processed carbohydrates, preservatives, and much more in it. Add on that most stuffings have sausage and other meats added, you could be looking at nearly 500 calories a serving.

Turkey (Dark Meat)

In addition to that, one food we all recognize, that is surprisingly unhealthy is the Thanksgiving turkey.. well.. the dark meat at least. This is because the dark meat has more saturated fat than the white meat, making it both higher in calories at 170 per 3 ounces, and more likely to clog your arteries down the road.

Homemade Mac and Cheese

We can’t stop at the meat, because carbohydrate and fat rich dishes, such as homemade mac and cheese, will really add a dent to your attempt to eat healthy on Thanksgiving. With most mac and cheeses made with a large amount of cheese, milk, and cream, there is an absurd amount of saturated fat and calories at nearly 500-800 per serving.

Canned Cranberry Sauce

Now normally when you think of fruit, you think of something healthy. Because of this, many people think canned cranberry sauce might not be the worst thing for them. Unfortunately, canned cranberry sauce can have nearly 120 calories for only a 1/4 cup serving, mainly driven from the large amount of high fructose corn syrup added to it.

Surprised Yet?

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Most people look at corn as a vegetable, and think that when they eat in on Thanksgiving, they are eating healthy. This is somewhat true, except for one major issue. Most people add a large amount of butter to the corn, increasing the calories for a one cup serving to almost 200!

Sweet Potato Casserole

Similar to corn, you hear the word “sweet potato casserole” and your mind immediately congratulates you for eating healthy. Not so fast, as most sweet potato casseroles have an incredible amount of sugar from the topping and saturated fat from the butter and creams used to prepare it. Clocking in at nearly 450 calories a serving, sweet potato casserole isn’t too sweet on the waistline.

Pecan Pie

Speaking of sweet, individuals who have a sweet tooth might lean away from pumpkin pie, and instead towards pecan pie. Unfortunately, Pecan Pie has nearly 500 calories for an 1/8 slice of pie (assuming you only eat just one. The only good thing about this dessert is that the calories from fat are largely “healthy fats.” However, if you are trying to watch your weight, this dessert doesn’t make it easy.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

Almost as iconic on Thanksgiving as a turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy usually make the table. The way individuals typically prepare this meal, usually involves lots of cream, milk, and butter to make it taste better. This takes a healthy option, being a potato, and drives it to a nearly 400 calorie serving, before you add on the gravy. Although gravy is only 25 calories for a 1/4 cup, it is extremely high in sodium and can drive up your already high calorie bill for the meal.

What Do You Think?

Did your favorite food make the list? There are of course many other foods to be aware of on Thanksgiving, as these are just a few of them. If you are interested in starting an exercise program to minimize the effect of Thanksgiving, you can check out the one we designed below. Otherwise, you can view this other article I made detailing a few ways to avoid thanksgiving weight gain.

How to Avoid Thanksgiving Weight Gain: Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Thanksgiving Weight Gain Thanksgiving brings a time for family, friends, and of course, food. But with these high calorie delicious foods, another side effect comes from them. Gaining lot’s of unwanted weight. Whether you are somebody who is trying to lose weight or maintain weight, this article will give you a few healthy holiday eating…

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