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Come Thanksgiving, there’s no debate that turkey takes center stage. C’mon, the holiday is even nicknamed Turkey Day. But of the two top-ranked supporting players—that would be mashed potatoes and stuffing, of course—which should you fill up on?
It’s actually a no-brainer, says Amy Goodson, a Dallas-based registered dietitian. “Anytime you start with a bread product versus a whole food, the bread product will be more processed,” she says. Stuffing is usually based around white bread or corn bread, both of which are high in carbs and low in fiber, and the dish quickly becomes a sodium bomb thanks to all the stock used to make it. If you’re using a packaged mix, then you can add MSG and high-fructose syrup to the list of stuffing’s cons as well.
While mashed potato recipes often include milk and butter, there’s more potential to make the dish a healthier choice, explains Goodson. She recommends swapping in 2% milk for whole milk and adding flavor with an herb such as rosemary or some garlic so you can cut down on salt. Goodson’s final tip: “Mash the potatoes with the skins left on. That will increase the fiber content.”