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Five Healthy Swaps for Your Thanksgiving Meal

It is a holiday full of family, friends, thanks, and unfortunately, overeating. Move over mashed potatoes, make way for sweet potatoes. Say goodbye, canned cranberries. Combat the "turkey coma" with these healthy dishes.

Turkey, the traditional meat of Thanksgiving. It's also packed with nutrients. Turkey is high in protein. It's also a good source of lysine, which helps with calcium absorption, and tryptophan, which helps increase bone mineral density. Turkey is also low in fat.

Healthy Holiday Tip: The white meat in turkey has less fat than dark meat. Per three ounces, which is about the size of a deck of cards, you'll save 50 calories and 4 grams of fat. That adds up fast. However, dark meat provides more iron and zinc than white meat.

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It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without cranberries. They are high in vitamins C, E and K and antioxidants found in cranberries help fight cancer. A homemade cranberry sauce is just as delicious, yet better for your health.

Healthy Holiday Tip: Skip the canned cranberry sauce. Canned cranberries contain so much sugar it outweighs the benefits of cranberries.

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Mashed Potatoes
Potatoes are rich in fiber, protein and carbohydrates. When eaten in moderation, potatoes are a healthy food that contain fiber. The ingredients added to make mashed potatoes, such as butter and sour cream, significantly increase calories, saturated fat and cholesterol. Mix things up with a healthier version of this Thanksgiving favorite. Try mashed sweet potatoes instead.

Healthy Holiday Tip: Sweet potatoes are great sources of vitamin A, B6 and C, iron and magnesium. Sweet potatoes are also rich in fiber and potassium.

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Green Beans
Green beans are a great vegetable to serve at Thanksgiving. They are full of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and are so tasty! Not only do they provide health benefits, but they add color to any Thanksgiving plate!

Healthy Holiday Tip: Fill half of your plate with vegetables, such as green beans. Avoid traditional green bean casseroles by substituting healthier versions of this classic holiday dish.

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Pumpkin Pie
Is it really Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? Pumpkin has antioxidant nutrients like vitamin A and C and is also rich in potassium and fiber.

Healthy Holiday Tip: Indulge a little this Thanksgiving. One slice of pumpkin pie has 350 calories. That's 170 calories less than a slice of pecan pie. Or start a new tradition with frozen pumpkin mousse pie—it's only 230 calories a slice.

Click here for the recipe.