Want to get the holiday season off to a healthy start? When you sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, you can make some simple food and alcohol choices that will save on calories and dietary fat:

  • HOLIDAY DRINKS. Try mixing white wine with club soda to make a spritzer. It cuts calories in half and keeps your mind that much clearer!
  • TURKEY. Choose white meat. Dark meat has a higher fat content. Avoid the turkey skin as well.
  • GRAVY. Use gravy sparingly. Many people make their gravy from turkey drippings and giblets -- which have a good deal of fat and dietary cholesterol. If you're doing the cooking, look for low-fat gravy recipes.
  • SWEET POTATOES. Choose these instead of the mashed white potatoes being passed around the table. Sweet potatoes are low-calorie and have lots of beta carotene, a nutrient believed to fight cancer and heart disease. (And they can be mashed as well.)
  • BREAD AND ROLLS. Go for whole-grain and seeded varieties instead of white; you'll get more fiber.
  • PUMPKIN PIE. A cousin of the sweet potato, the "pumpkin" part is relatively low-calorie and full of beta carotene. It's the "pie" part (the crust) that can have loads of fat. Leave some or all of it behind on your dessert plate.