Research reveals Thanksgiving calorie count

November 27 2013

Today (November 28th) will see Canada's US community celebrating Thanksgiving Day and new research has revealed the extent of the food that will be consumed as part of the celebrations.

A study by the Calorie Control Council has found the average person will consume in excess of 4,500 calories when eating a traditional Thanksgiving meal and snacking before and afterwards. 

The organization said this is over 25 per cent higher than the typical daily calorie intake and does not include breakfast and eating leftovers. It also found the average Thanksgiving meal contains 229 grams of fat, which is nearly 50 per cent more than what people usually consume in a day. 

"In fact, the average person may consume enough fat at a holiday meal to equal three sticks of butter," the Calorie Control Council stated. 

The organization warned about the potential health implications of eating such large amounts of food on Thanksgiving and recommended consuming lower-calorie foods in the days before and after the event to compensate. 

While this research is geared towards the US, it will still be of interest to Canadians who also like to indulge in large meals on Thanksgiving and will do so over the Christmas period as well. 

With many consumers in Canada becoming increasingly health conscious, restaurant operators may find there is a market for trying to develop festive meals that contain less fat and fewer calories. 

One possibility is fake meat, which is now being used as an alternative to the traditional holiday turkey. According to CNN news, a number of start-up companies have began producing meat substitutes by synthesizing meat and egg textures from plant proteins.

One such businesses, Beyond Meat, already has its alternative to chicken used in hundreds of Tropical Smoothie restaurants across the US and this could become a common option in more venues in the coming years. 

Founder of the company Ethan Brown said: "We're doing what evolution did over a very long period of time; it's just that we're doing it in less than two minutes.

"If you believe that it's possible to replicate the animal protein with plant protein, it makes for a pretty compelling investment."