Thanksgiving advice eat pie for supper

Eating Well

November 19, 1996|By Colleen Pierre | Colleen Pierre,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Let's have some fun for Thanksgiving this year and plan to have nothing but pie and coffee for supper. It could work perfectly if we have the feast early, say between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. By 6 or 7 that evening, we'll be ready for a light meal.

A hefty slice (about one-sixth of a pie) of traditional pumpkin or mincemeat pie with a dollop of whipped cream, along with a cup of coffee, one teaspoon of sugar and one tablespoon of half-and-half weighs in at about 450 calories and 23 grams of fat. Now that's a serious addition to a typical Thanksgiving dinner, but when it stands alone, it's a reasonable meal.

I know this sounds like heresy coming from a dietitian, but Thanksgiving is an extraordinary day. As a nation, we're struggling with increasing fatness and all its health risks. So daily vigilance is essential. Learning to eat less fat and more fruits and vegetables is the key to better health.

But food is more than just something we eat. Living a healthy life includes enjoying special occasions and traditional foods that recall our family history and bind us to the people we love. Celebrational meals are bridges to the past and the future.

So we need to find ways to enjoy those once-a-year foods that speak to us of comfort, warmth, love and friendship.

Sometimes looking at the numbers can provide a factual base from which to relax and enjoy a little indulgence.

Take a look at the chart, and find your gender and age group. Then check out how many calories and grams of fat are right to help you maintain your weight. The numbers are higher than most people expect. Now go to the food chart, and see how much you can eat. The values are based on traditional recipes that include modest amounts of fat. If necessary, use your calculator to do the math.

If you're accurate, you'll see that women in the oldest age group can eat a healthful, low-fat breakfast, one portion of everything at dinner (913 calories/29 grams of fat), and pie and coffee for supper (450 calories/23 gm fat). The youngest men could easily eat breakfast, double portions of everything at dinner, then have pie and coffee for supper.

Certainly no one is expected to weigh and measure portions at Thanksgiving dinner. The idea is that you can eat a little of everything and fall within healthy guidelines.

But many of us are tempted to gorge. Although that's sort of fun while you're doing it, it usually feels awful when you're done. Remember that, then follow these guidelines to get maximum satisfaction from smaller servings of food.

Resist the temptation to add butter to things. Try to enjoy the taste of real food.

Don't pile it on. Create an attractive, one-serving plate. Have seconds if you're still hungry.

Eat slowly, savoring every mouthful.

Take time to enjoy the company of the people you love.

Stop eating when you're satisfied, not stuffed.

L Plan an after-dinner activity to get everyone up and moving.

Have dessert later, when you're actually hungry again.

Calories/fat to maintain weight

Men age 25-50: 2900 calories/97 grams fat

Men age 50+: 2300 calories/77 grams fat

Women age 25-50: 2200 calories/73 grams fat

Women age 50+: 1900 calories/63 grams fat

From: The National Research Council. "Recommended Dietary Allowances." 10th Edition. and Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Department of Agriculture. Fourth Edition.

Calories/fat in typical Thanksgiving fare

PF3.5 ounces of turkey ... ... ... 170 calories ... ... ... 5 grams fat

1/2 cup stuffing ... ... ... ... . 201 calories ... ... .. 13 grams fat

1/2 cup mashed potato ... ... ... 111 calories ... ... ... 4 grams fat

2 1/2 inch candied sweet potato ... 118 calories ... ... ... 2 grams fat

1/2 cup green bean casserole ... .. 60 calories ... ... ... 4 grams fat

1/2 cup gravy from mix ... .... ... 43 calories ... ... ... 1 gram fat

1/4 cup cranberry sauce ... ... .. 104 calories .... .... ..... -- fat

7-inch celery stalk .... .... .... 6 calories .... .... ..... -- fat

5 ounces red wine ... ... ... .. 100 calories .... .... ..... -- fat

... ... ... Total ... ... ... .. 913 calories ... .. .. 29 grams fat

From: "Bowes & Church's Food Values of Portions Commonly Used," 16th Edition.

Colleen Pierre, a registered dietitian, is the nutrition consultant at the Union Memorial Sports Medicine Center and Vanderhorst & Associates in Baltimore.

Pub Date: 11/29/96

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