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Dr. Campbell: Healthy Thanksgiving tips

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Thanksgiving is here and that means many Americans will be sitting down to a feast on Thursday. Although delicious, Thanksgiving dinner is not generally the healthiest meal. Dr. Campbell will be here Wednesday morning to give us some healthy Thanksgiving tips.

While most people probably don't think of Thanksgiving as the most healthy meal they could eat, few probably realize just how bad for you that feast can be. Most Thanksgiving meals contain 3,500-4,000 calories per person per meal, which is approximately twice the caloric intake that most people need in a day. 

If you factor in all the snacking, drinking, the feast itself, seconds and the desserts, you could be looking at close to a 5,000 calorie day.

There are some things we can do to have a healthier Thanksgiving, though. One important step you can take is to not starve yourself all day. Try having a healthy breakfast so that you're not starving when the Thanksgiving spread is put out on the table.

It's also a good idea to eat your meal mid-day, if possible. Our bodies do a better job handling the caloric intake in the middle of the day than later on in the evening.

Drinking lots of water (and maybe fewer cocktails or glasses of wine or beer) throughout the day. That will cut down on dehydration and fill you up so you don't pack in too much food or calories from alcoholic drinks. 

When it comes to food, before reaching for turkey and potatoes, fill two-thirds of your plate with vegetables of all colors. Healthy veggies will fill you up and keep you from indulging in unhealthy food. 

The most dangerous things on the table are the vegetables cooked in creamy sauces. Reach for steamed vegetables or flavor them with olive oil, lemon and herbs and you'll save about 150 calories per serving—this adds up. 

White meat turkey is your best bet—it is much healthier than ham and dark meat (which has a higher fat content).  As good as it tastes, it is important to not eat the skin—it has a very high fat content (hence it tastes great).

For the rest of Dr. Campbell's healthy Thanksgiving tips, tune in at 6:15 a.m. or watch the video posted above after the show.

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