Thanksgiving health tips: How to make more informed food choices

It is possible to stay healthy and still enjoy your favorite dishes during the holiday season? The answer is yes, but it’s important to know which food hacks are a myth, and which ones are helpful if you are looking to make more informed food choices. Yahoo Life sat down with Dr. Taz to get a better understanding of what swaps to consider making, whether you’re preparing or enjoying festive foods.

1) Replacing mashed potatoes with sweet potatoes: Miracle

(getty images)
Mash Potatoes vs Sweet Potatoes (Getty Images)

Sweet potatoes have more fiber, are higher in vitamin A and are more filling than traditional mashed potatoes. Taz says that “they help regulate a really important hormone, insulin, so that your blood sugar stays nice and stable throughout the day.”

2) Replacing sugary cocktails with wine: Myth

Dr. Taz Myths and Miracles
Dr. Taz says that it's a myth that swapping your wine for cocktails is a healthier choice. (Getty Images)

Both have sugar, which promotes fat storage and extra calories. Wine averages 110-140 calories per glass while a cocktail starts at 96 calories “but then we add the juices and the flavorings and all that other good stuff. It’s kind of a wash,” says Taz.

3) Skip lunch and save calories for the holiday dinner: Myth

Dr. Taz Myths and Miracles
Eating throughout the day helps you regulate your appetite. (Getty Images)

Skipping meals slows down metabolism. “It’s actually better to eat consistently throughout the day, fill up on protein, drink plenty of water. And that way, when you get to the holiday meal, you’ll be able to regulate your appetite better,” says Taz.

4) Replace vegetable oil with coconut oil: Miracle

Dr. Taz
Coconut oil helps to support gut health, Dr. Taz says. (Getty Images)

“It supports gut health. It balances the amount of bad bacteria and yeast that you might have in your gut,” Taz explains. “It keeps you fuller for longer.”

5) Replace sweetener with cinnamon: Miracle

Dr. Taz Myths and Miracles
If you’re looking for a light calorie method to sweeteners during the holidays, turn to cinnamon (Getty Images)

If you are looking for a lighter-calorie method to sweeten things up during the holidays, cinnamon may be your friend. It’s shown to “lower blood sugar and keep your insulin level nice and stable,” which means fewer sugar cravings.

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