The unhealthiest Thanksgiving dishes

You anticipate indulging, and expect to experience a solid food coma on Thanksgiving every year. With everything from your grandmother’s famous stuffing to that homemade pumpkin pie, you pretty much know you're going to feel sick to your stomach once your head hits the pillow.

But do you ever think about what you are eating? Some basic Thanksgiving dishes, such as lean turkey meat and roasted vegetables, are doctor-approved for your body. Others, such as store-bought cranberry sauce and gravy are on the list of foods to avoid. 

Restriction is never a good idea, especially when you have been looking forward to this holiday all year. If you do choose to enjoy the not-so-good dishes, make sure you fill up your plate with the healthy Thanksgiving foods as well. 

We spoke with three medical doctors and a doctor of dental surgery about the Thanksgiving dishes that they absolutely won’t eat on Turkey Day.

1. Candied Yams

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“If marshmallow-loaded candied yams are a tradition in your household it might be time to reconsider,” said Matthew Mullally, doctor of dental surgery. “Marshmallows are essentially pure sugar. Also, there’s really no reason to sweeten yams. Yams themselves are loaded with sweetness, as well as nutrients that don’t stick the surface of your teeth.”

2. Fried Appetizers

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“Appetizers are a good means of curbing your guests’ hunger before the meal,” Mullally said. “Still, appetizers that are fried or covered in bacon are going to be loaded with Streptococcus mutans (one of the main agents that allow plaque to grow) and its allies. Instead, consider serving vegetables like raw carrots, broccoli, and artichoke hearts, which naturally clean your teeth. These vegetables produce saliva, which washes away bacteria.”

3. Gravy

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“Homemade gravy is basically turkey fat, some turkey 'juice,' and white flour or cornstarch for thickening,” said Dana Simpler, MD. “This makes whatever you put it on a very high fat food. Consider an alternative gravy such as mushroom gravy.”

4. Green Bean Casserole

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"This is going to be healthier, but depends on how much butter is added,” Simpler said. “If you just use a can of condensed soup as your 'cream,' you can get away with a good tasting casserole without smothering it in fat. Of course the fried onion rings on top are another story.”

5. Mashed Potatoes

Bowl of mashed potato with melting butter and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

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“The carbohydrates of potatoes enter the blood as glucose faster than table sugar,” said Barry Sears, MD, “This makes you tired and even more hungry.”

Check out more holiday dishes doctors would never eat. 

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