how to shop healthy for thanksgiving

Which Brands To Buy (And Which Ones To Avoid!) For A Healthier Thanksgiving

Looking for the healthiest products for your Thanksgiving feast?

The non-profit EWG organization can help.

The EWG has rated over 80,000 common grocery store items based on nutritional quality, degree of processing and toxicity concerns. They’ve loaded their findings into a huge database of brand names you can easily search to find out all the nitty-gritty details about each product.

So out of curiosity we searched EWG’s database for some traditional Thanksgiving products and came up with the healthiest Cranberry Sauces, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Stuffings, Frozen Pies and Pumpkin Purées – at least according to the EWG – you can buy from US grocery stores.

Of course, most of the processed foods we researched for this post aren’t very paleo. But we know how it is with Thanksgiving – the paleo rulebook often goes out the window for the day so families can enjoy their favorite comfort foods guilt free.

Still, we know most healthy eaters would prefer to keep their Thanksgiving as nutritious and toxin-free as possible. That’s why we’ve listed the top 10 healthiest products in each category based on EWG’s independent ratings. And right next to that list are a handful of not-so-healthy choices you might want to avoid.

This information we’ve presented here really just scratches the surface of what you’ll find when you search EWG’s extensive food database.

If you want to find out more about any of these Thanksgiving items, such as the exact scores they received from EWG and why, then just head over to EWG’s foodscore section and type the product’s brand name into the search box.

Best Cranberry Sauces

  1. Pacific, Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauce [15.6 oz]
  2. R.W. Knudsen, Natural Sauce Cranberry [10 oz]
  3. Best Choice Cranberry Sauce Jellied [14 oz]
  4. Pacific Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce [15.6 oz]
  5. Sprouts Whole Cranberry Sauce [14 oz]
  6. Trader Joe’s Cranberry Sauce [12 oz]
  7. Ballymaloe Cranberry Sauce [7.4 oz]
  8. Dole Jellied Cranberry Sauce [19 oz]
  9. Sprouts Jellied Cranberry Sauce [14 oz]
  10. Grown Right, Organic Jellied Cranberry Sauce [14 oz]

Worst Cranberry Sauces

Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce [14 oz]

Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce [8 oz]

Tipton Grove Jellied Cranberry Sauce [14 oz]

Essential Everyday Jellied Cranberry Sauce [8 oz]

Kroger Cranberry Sauce [8 oz]

Best Mashed Potatoes

  1. Potatoes On The Side Instant Mashed 13oz
  2. Key Food Instant Mashed Potatoes [16 oz]
  3. Clover Valley Mashed Potatoes [10 oz]
  4. Roundy’s Instant Mashed Potatoes [28 oz]
  5. Clear Value Mashed Potato Flakes [13.3 oz]
  6. Food Club Mashed Potatoes [13.3 oz]
  7. Essential Everyday Instant Mashed Potatoes [28 oz]
  8. Family Gourmet Mashed Potatoes Original [13.3 oz]
  9. Bob’s Red Mill, Creamy Potato Flakes Instant Mashed [16 oz]
  10. Betty Crocker Mashed Potatoes [28 oz]

Worst Mashed Potatoes

Osem Meals On The Go Mashed Potatoes And Vegetable [1.65 oz]

Night Hawk, Top Chop’t Classic Mashed Potato Topped and Charbroiled Beef [7.8 oz]

Market Pantry, Mashed Potatoes Roasted Garlic [4 oz]

Idahoan Flavored Mashed Potatoes Applewood Smoked Bacon Flavored [4 oz]

Lieber’s Mashed Potatoes With Fried Onions [5.75 oz]

Best Gravy

  1. Pacific Turkey Gravy [13.9 oz]
  2. Pacific, Organic Vegan Mushroom Gravy [13.9 oz]
  3. Imagine Natural Creations Gravy Roasted Turkey [6 fl oz]
  4. Sprouts Turkey Gravy [17.6 oz]
  5. Dynasty Brown Gravy Sauce [5.25 oz]
  6. Imagine Natural Creations Vegetarian Wild Mushroom [16 fl oz]
  7. Essential Everyday Home Style Turkey Gravy [12 oz]
  8. Heinz Fat Free Gravy Classic Chicken [12 oz]
  9. Heinz Gravy Mushroom [310 g]
  10. Heinz Gravy Roasted Turkey [340 g]

Worst Gravy

Banquet, Sausage Gravy [16 oz]

Bob Evans, Original Pork Sausage Gravy [20 oz]

Odom’s Tennessee Pride, Sausage Gravy [8 oz]

Odom’s Tennessee Pride, Sausage Gravy [16 oz]

Odom’s Tennessee Pride, Sausage Gravy [8 oz]

Odom’s Tennessee Pride, Sausage Gravy [8 oz]

Best Stuffing

  1. Arrowhead Mills Stuffing Savory Herb [10 oz]
  2. Mrs. Cubbison’s Focaccia Stuffing [8 oz]
  3. Streit’s Savory Herb Stuffing Mix [170 g]
  4. Aleia’s Stuffing Savory [12 oz]
  5. Gillian’s Home Style Stuffing [8 oz]
  6. Manischewitz Stuffing Stove Top Mix [8 oz]
  7. Martin’s Soft Cube Stuffing Butter [12 oz]
  8. Mrs. Cubbison’s Corn Bread Stuffing Seasoned [12 oz]
  9. Mrs. Cubbison’s Cube Stuffing [10 oz]
  10. Mrs. Cubbison’s Multi Grain Stuffing Cranberry [10 oz]

Worst Stuffing

Hormel Country Crock Homestyle Stuffing [21 oz]

Shoprite Turkey Stuffing Mix [6 oz]

Kraft Stuffing Mix Turkey [6 oz]

Shur Fine Stuffing Mix Turkey [6 oz]

Safeway Cornbread Stuffing Mix [170 g]

Best Frozen Pies

  1. Amy’s, Apple Pie [8 oz]
  2. Zaza Desserts Cheezecake Chocolate [3.5 oz]
  3. Banquet, Apple Pie [7 oz]
  4. Banquet, Peach Pie [7 oz]
  5. Banquet, Cherry Berry Pie [7 oz]
  6. Claim Jumper, Lattice Peach Pie [1.13 kg]
  7. Marie Callender’s, Peach Cobbler [32 oz]
  8. Safeway Select Frozen Dessert Northern Spy Apple Crisp [11 oz]
  9. Sara Lee Cherry Pie [37 oz]
  10. Sara Lee Oven Fresh Pie Blueberry [765 g]

Worst Frozen Pies

Marie Callender’s Pie Chocolate Satin [794 g]

Marie Callender’s, Turtle Pie [28 oz]

Marie Callender’s Peanut Butter Cream Pie [28 oz]

Claim Jumper, Chocolate Silk Pie [28 oz]

Edwards Coconut Creamy Pie In A Chocolatey Cookie Crush [18.33 oz]

Best Pumpkin Puree

  1. Pacific, Organic Puree Pumpkin [16 oz]
  2. Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin [15 oz]
  3. Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin [15 oz]
  4. Sprouts Pumpkin [15 oz]
  5. Food Lion 100% Pure Pumpkin [15 oz]
  6. Shop Rite Pumpkin [29 oz]
  7. Libby’s Pumpkin [15 oz]
  8. Roundy’s Pumpkin [29 oz]
  9. Great Value, 100% Pure Pumpkin [15 oz]
  10. Schnucks Pumpkin Solid Pack [15 oz]

Worst Pumpkin Puree

Great news! Most canned pumpkin brands must be doing a pretty good job – no bad ones according to the EWG!

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