This reporter, for one, is known to use real butter in all of my Thanksgiving meals. Thanksgiving is an occasion for which I relax my calorie-counting. But for those who want to stay on-track while enjoying Thanksgiving dinner, Nutrition Expert Dr. Rachel Yan has some advice.

“One meal is not going to kill you,” Yan said. “The other 364 days of the year and how you take care of yourself are really going to determine how you look and feel.”

Dr. Yan says, if you want to make smart choices on Thanksgiving Day, begin with one of the biggest items on the table: the meat. We asked which would be a better choice: turkey or ham?

Yan says both can be ok options, but she recommends a free-range turkey.

When it comes to side dishes, Yan always picks mashed potatoes over stuffing.

“I would always put vegetables over bread on my plate,” she said. “(Potatoes) are still starchy vegetables, so limit how much you put on your plate. Otherwise, you’re going to fill up totally on mashed potatoes.”

When it comes to beverages, Dr. Yan says skip the soda and go for organic sparkling apple juice with minimal sugar.

“It’s so much better than soda,” she said.

And, before you put a dinner roll on your plate, Dr. Yan says you may want to look for the croissants, instead because croissants contain more fat -- which, in this case, is a good thing.

“Fat satiates you, which means you’ll feel full sooner,” she said.

And don’t think you have to skip dessert. Dr. Yan says lots of pies are perfect options, if you make one little change—forego the crust.

“Less carbs, less grains, less guilt,” she said.

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