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Minor changes can keep Thanksgiving meal tasty and nutritious

Thinking about a healthy, tasty Thanksgiving meal?

It can be done -- and Wilma Malone, a dietician and diabetes educator at Newman Regional Health, says it can happen easier than you think.

Start with the dips as an example.

Once you get to the actual meal, it's always the mashed potatoes that seem to be the chief caloric culprit.

Malone says stuffing can be high in sodium, especially because of the broth and butter or margarine, so cut back by using a low-sodium broth. You can also add flavor by adding onions, celery and mushrooms. Also cook the stuffing outside the turkey because the bird drippings will add fat content.

You can have a healthy green bean casserole by using a light mushroom soup, sauteeing fresh onions -- and perhaps cutting back on the fried onions.

Malone says desserts are an easy way to pack on the calories. Pumpkin pie, a holiday favorite, is a healthier option than another favorite, pecan pie, and you can make those pies healthier by using evaporated milk instead regular milk. You can also stretch the pies a bit by cutting them into smaller slices.

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