Opt for a Healthier Thanksgiving by Removing Trans Fat-Laden Fare

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is moving to ban the artificial trans fats in food after nearly two decades of debate over the medical costs and health-related concerns. In a New York Times article entitled “An Overdue Ban on Trans Fats,” it’s explained that trans fats, “… raise the level of ‘bad cholesterol’ in the blood and lower the level of ‘good cholesterol,’ leading to clogged arteries, illness, and death from heart disease.”

With such a heavy impact, this Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to celebrate all we are thankful for in a healthy, trans fat-free way.

Three Keys to Trans Fat Free Meals:

Nutrition Label

1.This may sound obvious, but one of the best ways to avoid trans fats is to avoid purchasing products that contain them. Some common ones to keep an eye out for include non-dairy coffee creamer, pre-made frosting, boxed cake mix, frozen pie crust, frozen pies, margarine sticks, pancake and waffle mixes, frozen dinners, microwave popcorn, refrigerated biscuits, meat sticks, frozen and creamy beverages, crackers, and even some beef patties. While not all varieties of these products include trans fats, it’s important to check before you make a purchase.

2.Plan ahead when deciding on menus for the holidays. Once you have located the culprits that have been sneaking trans fats into your diet, you need time to rework your menus or plan around them altogether. This takes time. Be sure you are working on your menu now so there is no rush the night before Thanksgiving.

3.Step outside of what you and your family have considered the staples of your Thanksgiving meal. Instead of serving white potatoes that may have margarine in them containing trans fats, opt for sweet potatoes sweetened with pineapple or Agave nectar. There are plenty of delicious, seasonal vegetables available this time of year to begin getting creative with as you craft your menu. Also, try making your own pie crust this year. It can be a challenge, but the outcome will be much more rewarding.

Chelsea B. Sanz
Chelsea B. Sanz

Chelsea Sanz has lived in East Tennessee since her family moved here from South Florida just before she started high school. While she initially begrudged her new home state, she eventually realized she had come to not only love it, but to “bleed orange” as University of Tennessee Volunteers fans here like to say. She and her boyfriend Hunter, a trail worker for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, enjoy exploring the nation’s most visited national park and coming up with their own farm-to-table recipes.