Thanksgiving is about two things, giving thanks for what we have and the food. The latter seems shallow in comparison, but it has always been the cooking and eating throughout the day that bonds and brings us together. I wouldn’t give up this holiday for the world. However, what many Americans remain blissfully unaware of, is just how much food they are consuming this one day a year. Studies and surveys have reported that people have a higher caloric intake on Thanksgiving than any other day. Americans average between 3,500 to 4,500 calories total on Thanksgiving. The numbers nearly triple a person’s average caloric intake on any other day of the year. Here are the foods causing your elastic waistband to expand most.
This fall favorite is the leading caloric contributor on Thanksgiving day. One slice of apple pie contains about 411 calories. That is more calories than one average Thanksgiving dinner plate with a glass of red wine, if you don’t count stuffing.
Stuffing is a classic Thanksgiving dish, but not always a favorite. You will always have people who choose not to indulge in this particular side. However, those who do are consuming about 390 calories per cup of stuffing. This dish is easy to make healthy, but many seem to prefer to keep their stuffing traditionally fattening. It tastes better that way.
Here is yet another dessert that makes its way onto the top five list. Shockingly, it’s not the filling itself that makes it unhealthy, as it is traditionally low in calories and full of fiber. It’s the buttery crust that makes this such a dangerous side to serve. Averaging about 323 calories per slice, Americans can’t seem to stay away.
Mashed Potatoes with Whole Milk and Butter
If we are conjuring this list based on how we traditionally prepare Thanksgiving foods, then mashed potatoes qualify. Mashed potatoes cooked with whole milk and butter usually come out to be around 240 calories per serving. Once again, this is another dish that we can alter with healthier substitutes for butter and whole milk, but do we really want to?
The average biscuit contains about 212 calories. This side dish is nationally popular and rarely excluded from dinner plates on Thanksgiving day. Over the years, though, recipes for biscuits have been amended to make them healthier. Those who are keeping track of caloric intake will substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream when the recipe calls for it.
In my opinion, Thanksgiving is one of the rare days during the year that calories don’t matter. As long as you eat relatively healthy most other days, you get a freebee on the fourth Thursday in November. Especially after a year like 2020.