Letter to the Editor

Try something new this holiday

Sunday, November 22, 2009

To the Editor:

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and many Americans are already feeling more frazzled than festive.

Much of this holiday stress comes from trying to create the perfect meal. As a dietitian, I want to point out that what you put on the menu actually influences your mood and could help relieve tension.

Leaving turkey and other meats off the table could help you and your guests improve your moods, according to a new study. Researchers at Arizona State University found that when omnivores cut meat and eggs out of their diet, they experience less tension and less confusion. Participants in a control group that continued eating meat and a group that ate fish showed no significant changes in mood.

Meatless holidays meals of lentils, winter squash, and perhaps a soy- or wheat-based "turkey" just might help prevent the next family feud.

They can also help the whole family stay trim and reduce their risk of heart disease and cancer. For delicious vegan recipes that can be enjoyed year-round, go to CancerProject.org/Thanksgiving.


Krista Haynes, R.D.,

Staff Dietitian,

The Cancer Project,

Washington, D.C.