My Blue Dots Blog

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 1, 2014

By Michelle Jin

November kicks off the holiday season with a great feast on the Thanksgiving dinner table. It’s a time for celebration, spending time with the loved ones in your life, and perhaps most importantly, the food. Juicy turkey, succulent mashed potatoes, sweet cranberry jam, all glazed with a thick layer of gravy is the quintessential items on the table. However, although delicious, these foods rich in carbohydrates and fats can be great health risks. In addition to the widely-known risks of obesity such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases, a study published by the American Cancer Society found that over-eating and the associated obesity are significant risks for cancer [1]. Increased risks in several types of cancers were found to be associated with obesity: colorectal, breast, endometrial, kidney, esophageal, and other cancers.

To find the perfect balance between enjoying a nice holiday meal and staying healthy, the American Cancer Society provides the following tips[2]:

  • Snacking on healthy foods. You will be less hungry at the dinner table, so you will be less likely to over-eat foods rich in fats and carbohydrates.
  • Stay hydrated. Hunger and thirst may mistakenly induce the same senses. Staying hydrated will make you feel fuller and less likely to over eat.
  • Portion control. With so many dishes to choose from, it’s important to keep in mind the total amount of food you are eating.
  • Eat the greens. Fill a portion of your plate with healthy veggies so you will feel full without all the calories.
  • Drink less alcohol. Alcoholic beverages are heavy in calories without making you feel full.
  • Take a walk! Taking a post-dinner walk is a great way to help digest the meal and spend time with your friends and families.

Happy Thanksgiving!

[1] Calle, Eugenia E., and Michael J. Thun. “Obesity and Cancer.” Oncogene 23 (2004): 6365-6378.