The turkey that forms the centerpiece of most Thanksgiving meals is actually a pretty healthy food. What gets us into far more more trouble at the feast tends to be all the sides and condiments!

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For example: there's gravy. It's typically made from the juices of meats that run off during cooking, and while those juices themselves are still in the "whole food" category, the gravy train doesn't usually stop there. Instead, dubious ingredients like corn starch, milk, wheat flour, marmite and even wine tend to make their way into gravy before it gets to the table.

However, one of our wonderful dieters saved the day by devising a simple gravy recipe made with only chicken stock and onions! Though our gravy is relatively low in fat in calories, it does happen to contain a lot of sodium, so it might be best to stick to one moderate serving.

Next, let's tackle cranberry sauce. Typical cranberry sauce tends to be an added sugar disaster, but cranberries themselves actually join their fellow berries as a superfood!

Cranberries' particular strength among berry-kind is that they're full of unique antioxidants called proanthocyanidins, which are known to keep bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract and causing infections. These proanthocyanins can also help prevent gum disease and by limiting the growth of bacteria in the mouth.

Cranberries are also high in vitamin C at 22 percent of your daily value, so they might also give your immune system a boost! Though some sensitive tasters are put off of this healthy fruit by it's tartness, the sauce recipe below solves that problem by stirring in some healthy stevia!

Also, since cranberries are only allowed on Phase 3 of the 123Diet, those on Phase 2 may instead wish to make a lovely sauce or dessert with apples or strawberries, like our applesauce or our strawberry jam.

Phase 2 dieters could also satisfy their sweet tooth this Thanksgiving with our our strawberry compote or our apple pie, or one of the delicious cakes our creative dieters have dreamed up.

Finally, there's the stuffing. The base of stuffing is usually bread, which costs you a lot of carbs for relatively little nutritional return, and many brands of even seemingly healthy bread are a lot less wholesome than they appear. Stuffing can also be made with high-calorie extras, like butter, oil, dried fruit, cheese, or even bacon. You'd get a better bang for your buck by rounding out your plate with a few servings of veggies instead, but if your heart is set on stuffing, the simple Melba toast version below is the way to go! If you're stumped on which herbs to add, check out our smashing round-up!

So if you're the one cooking the Thanksgiving feast this year, we advise you to experiment with serving up these swaps instead of their less-healthy counterpart. Who knows—maybe you'll be able to turn some relatives on to a healthier lifestyle!

123Diet Gravy

123Diet gravy

All the taste of gravy and a fraction of the fat! Estimated nutritional value of 27 calories, .2g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5.7 g carbohydrates, 1.2 g fiber, 1 g protein, and 2.3 g sugar.

Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook time
10 minutes
Makes 4 servings


  • 2 brown onions chopped
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 cup boiled water (add more if you want it thinner or less to leave it thicker)
  • Salt and pepper as desired

Brown onions on stove top. Dissolve stock cubes in water and add to pan for a few minutes. Add all to blender and blitz. You may return to pan and simmer further if you wish.

Recipe provided by

123Diet Stuffing

Stuffed peppers

Enjoy your stuffing the healthy way with help from good old mini-toast! Estimated nutritional value of 102 calories, 0.8 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 20.3 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 3.3 g protein, and 0.6 g sugar.

Prep Time
10 minutes
Cook time
1 serving (1 melba toast)


  • 1 packet melba toast
  • Chopped spring onion
  • Garlic salt
  • Mixed herbs/herbs of your choice

Made stuffing with crushed mini-toast and added a little water to soften. Added mixed herbs and chopped spring onion and a sprinkle of garlic salt. Spread on or stuff meat as desired. Brown in pan, then finish in oven.

Recipe provided by

Why not save a few calories this Thanksgiving with a healthier cranberry sauce? Check out Truvia's recipe!

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