Brussels sprouts: 56 calories per 1 cup
The pros: Like spinach, Brussels sprouts offer more satiating protein than most vegetables (4 grams per cup). Starting your meal with them can help keep cravings in check throughout the rest of dinner. Plus, one cup of Brussels sprouts provides 195 percent of vitamin K and 125 percent of vitamin C needs for the day.
The cons: They’re not always a crowd pleaser, as far as Thanksgiving foods go. People who dislike Brussels sprouts have a certain version of a taste receptor gene, which binds strongly to bitter compounds. This makes some people more sensitive to the veggies’ bitter flavor.
Gravy: 61 calories, 2.5 g fat per 1/2 cup
The pros: In moderation, gravy can be a tasty way to flavor healthy, slimming Thanksgiving foods (read: vegetables or skinless turkey breast).
The cons: It adds to your plate’s fat count. If you make gravy from scratch, refrigerate before serving and skim off the fat that solidifies on top with a spoon. Reheat and serve. Don’t miss these 27 funny Butterball Hotline calls that you should share this Thanksgiving.
Corn on the cob: 95 calories (with a pat of butter)
The pros: Don’t let the “sweet” in sweet corn deter you. An ear of corn has about the same number of calories as an apple, but with less than a quarter of the sugar. It also has about 3 grams dietary fiber per ear. And if you’re short on time, you don’t even need to cook it.
The cons: A pat of butter (if you can stick to only a pat) adds 36 calories to your cob. Go liberally for a tablespoon? That’s 102 extra calories, and too much added salt can lead to belly bloat. But we get it, corn is one of those Thanksgiving foods that are hard to resist—and butter is delicious. Check out these 11 tricks to manage the inevitable holiday bloat.