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.
Green bean casserole: 110 calories, 8 g fat per 2/3 cup
The pros: It’s not as high-cal as other Thanksgiving foods, which can help you in your quest to eat as much as scientifically possible on Thanksgiving. Many recipes use mushrooms in addition to green beans, so you get a healthy dose of veggies with your holiday tradition.
The cons: Most green bean casserole recipes call for processed ingredients, such as canned soup and processed cheese, that can be high in sodium and fat. Dishes often contain both saturated and trans fat. For every 2 percent of calories from trans fat consumed daily, your risk of heart disease rises by 23 percent.