LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The holidays are probably one of the toughest times of the year to eat healthy. With Thursday being Thanksgiving, many of East Texans will be chowing down on their favorite homemade dishes.
"The counties, not just Angelina county, rank as having the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in Texas," said LeAnne Anderson, a registered dietician with CHI St. Luke's Health Memorial.
Everything is bigger in Texas, but your plate doesn't have to be.
"Dressing, ham, deviled egg, peas, corn bread, and banana pudding," said Danny Anders, a Lufkin resident.
"I like turkey and dressing. To me, turkey and dressing is the staple of a good thanksgiving dinner," said Wade Anders, a Lufkin resident.
With so many delicious traditional food options tempting you, it may be hard to eat healthy.
"It don't taste good," Wade said laughing. "Healthy options, my foot, I'm going to eat that good stuff."
"Thanksgiving is splurge day; we're going to eat what we shouldn't and eat too much of it,"Anders said.
Too much is right! Anderson said it's all about the size of your plate.
"We usually recommend moderation not deprivation when it comes to eating at the holidays," Anderson said. "So just keep watching portion sizes and choosing foods carefully."
Want a suggestion? Try eating the foods you can only have during the holidays.
"If your favorite is dressing, have dressing and skip the potatoes and the rolls that you can have any day of the year," Anderson said.
So don't pass up on your favorite dishes this Thanksgiving because the holidays come only once a year.
"We really don't recommend avoiding food," Anderson said. "So if you want a small serving of dessert, go ahead and have a small piece, but just go ahead and enjoy the bite. Eat slowly and try to focus on having a good time rather than just the food."
Anderson suggested maybe having fruit for dessert rather than cake or pie. Also, drink water with your dinner instead of sweetened beverages like soda and sweet tea. Experts said they just add empty calories to your diet.