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Let’s give thanks for lean protein


This meal, featuring Chef John Wright’s Pork Tenderloin, will be the focus of the first Eating Wright cooking video planned for release in coming weeks.

Turkey is a big part of Thanksgiving Day tradition, but diabetics and health-conscious diners can’t go wrong with the variety of lean protein menu items that provide a great balance to the usual carb-heavy holiday fare.

Eating meats that are not breaded or fried is a great goal. The American Diabetes Association explains that meats do not contain carbohydrate so they do not raise blood glucose levels.

A balanced meal plan usually has about 2-5 ounces of meat. All the plant-based protein foods and any breaded meats contain carbohydrate. It’s best to read food labels carefully for these foods. In general there is about 15 grams of carbohydrate in ½ cup beans, and between 5 to 15 grams in soy based products like veggie burgers and “chicken” nuggets.

Lean protein options include seafood, poultry without skin and certain cuts of beef, veal lamb and pork. Years ago, pork was heralded as “the other white meat,” but holiday cooks may also like the versatility of pork dishes and the ability to slice and present it much like turkey.

A pork loin, for example can be seared, baked or roasted and sliced before tabling or it is plated. Three ounces of roasted pork loin has 122 calories, 22 grams of protein and only 3 grams of fat. There are no carbohydrates in the pork loin, but cooking it with carbs like fruit or fruit juice will add carbs to the dish.

If you are looking for a turkey alternative, check out Chef John Wright’s Pork Tenderloin.

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