Unexpectedly Intriguing!
November 23, 2017
Thanksgiving Dinner - Source: Centers for Disease Control Public Health Matters Blog - https://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2015/11/8867/

For many Americans, Thanksgiving dinner might be the single largest, most calorie-laden meal that they consume all year. And since 36% of American adults and 17% of American youths would qualify as obese according to the Centers for Disease Control, a large number of Americans would benefit from some preplanning for what they'll eat during Thanksgiving dinner.

That's why this year, we're introducing a tool to help you add up calories that you might consume from a traditional Thanksgiving menu *before* you even sit down to begin this year's feast, using data from the USDA's Food Composition Database.

To use it, you just need to indicate the number of servings for each menu item that you'll be consuming at this year's Thanksgiving. Then just click the "Calculate" button to estimate how many calories your body will need to process! (If you're accessing this article on a site that republishes our RSS news feed, please click here to access a working version of the tool at our site.

Items from a Traditional Thanksgiving Menu
Proteins Servings
Turkey (Breast Meat) - 3 oz serving
Turkey (Thigh/Leg Meat) - 3 oz serving
Side Dishes Servings
Turkey Gravy - 1/2 cup serving
Mashed Potatoes - 1 cup serving
Candied Yams - 1 cup serving
Bread Stuffing - 2 cup serving
Cranberry Sauce - 1/2 cup serving
Brussel Sprouts - 1 cup serving
Broccoli Spears - 4 oz serving
Extras Servings
Mixed Nuts - 1/2 cup serving
Dinner Roll - 1 oz serving
Butter or Margarine - 1 tablespoon serving
Desserts Servings
Apple Pie - 1/8 of 9-inch pie serving
Pumpkin Pie - 1 slice - 4 oz serving
Pecan Pie - 1 slice ~ 4 oz serving
Beverages Servings
Wine - 5 oz serving

Thanksgiving Meal Calories
Calculated Results Values
Estimated Calories

Playing with the tool, you'll quickly find that the biggest hitters are the dessert items, where having slices of apple, pumpkin *and* pecan pie will easily spike the calorie count for your Thanksgiving meal by more than 1,000 calories.

You should also keep an eye on your bread stuffing, candied yam and mixed nut consumption, since these items aren't far behind. Please also note that Green Bean Casserole does not appear on this menu. That is not an accidental omission - we believe that green bean casserole is just wrong, where it doesn't belong on any table, anywhere, ever.

There's just one more thing to consider, and that's how our Thanksgiving meal calorie estimate compares with the USDA's estimates of the daily calorie requirements for someone of your age and activity level. As you may have found from using our tool, it's a very easy thing for a Thanksgiving meal to exceed an entire day's worth of calories.

Hopefully, this tool has provided you with the information that you need to have all the tasty goodness that you want in reasonably sized servings at this year's feast. Have a happy Thanksgiving!



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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

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