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What's in (and out) for this Thanksgiving dinner

The mounds of food on a Thanksgiving table can really test your carb-counting expertise and willpower―especially if you try to keep your carbs between 45 and 60 grams per meal. So we thought we'd make some suggestions for smart options that lighten the carb, fat and sugar load.

Out: Crackers and dips. In: Cheese and veggie platter.
Low-fat cheeses are better for you than full-fat cheeses or traditional cream-cheese dips. Pair with slices of bell peppers, raw zucchini, sliced pears and even small green salads for a light and tasty appetizer.

Out: Turkey smothered in gravy. In: Herbed, roasted turkey.
Coated in fresh lemon, rosemary, sage, thyme and apple cider, this herbed, roasted turkey is moist and flavorful without ladles full of gravy.

Out: Cranberry sauce. In: Cranberry relish.
Whether you buy it or make it, cranberry sauce calls for a lot of processed white sugar to cover up the bitterness of raw cranberries. This cranberry relish is sweetened with an apple and some fresh orange juice, which you can even cut even more with water.

Out: Mashed potatoes. In: Mashed cauliflower.
Cauliflower is one of the most versatile veggies out there. Make this creamy, herbed, mashed cauliflower, and you might even fool some of your dinner guests.

Out: Candied sweet potatoes. In: Roasted rosemary sweet potatoes.
We know that all those mini-marshmallows, brown sugar sprinkles and pools of butter are a family tradition, but there is more than one way to have sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving. And who knows? Maybe your roasted rosemary sweet potatoes will be a new family fave.

Out: Green bean casserole. In: Lemony green beans.
Green beans are so delicious, why do we smother them once a year with cream-of-something soup and fried onions? Try these lemony green beans and let all the garden freshness shine through.

Out: Stuffing. In: Dressing.
When you stuff dressing in the turkey, it absorbs all the fat from the juices. A simple fix: bake your dressing in a casserole dish. It's hard to keep the carb count down with this dish, but you can at least cut down on the fat. This caramelized onion and cornbread version is a great example of how a few tweaks can make a big difference.

Out: White flour rolls. In: Spelt flour rolls.
Spelt flour has about 4 times the fiber as white flour. If you're going to pass a bread basket, fill it with whole grains like the ones in this recipe for spelt dinner rolls.

Out: Carrot cake. In: Carrot muffins.
Hey, if you want to save all your carbs for dessert, go right ahead! We're just excited that you have healthier options, like these delicious carrot cake muffins topped with coconut whipped cream.

Out: Pumpkin pie. In: Crustless pumpkin pie.
Of course, Thanksgiving requires that something be made with pumpkin. Clearly, this means pie! Make this crustless pumpkin pie and you've just saved yourself 8-10g of carbs per slice.

Interested in more holiday food tips?

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