Before you dig into that Thanksgiving spread this year, take time to think about what’s in front of you. Here’s an eating guide:

First: The bird. If you’re preparing the turkey, don’t buy the “self-basting” kind, which is injected with a solution that’s supposed to help “improve” the flavor and juiciness of the meat. Those turkeys have nearly twice the fat and salt as the old-fashioned kind. And skip the skin altogether – that’s where almost all the fat is.

Next: Cranberry sauce. As long as it doesn’t come in a can, go ahead and load up! Cranberries are high in vitamin C and tannins, the heart-healthy compounds also found in red wine. Just make sure the sauce isn’t loaded with sugar, like the canned kind.

What about stuffing? To make it really healthy, use whole-wheat bread or high-fiber grains like wild rice. And cook it outside the bird, where it won’t get soaked in fatty drippings. If someone else has made the stuffing and they didn’t follow those guidelines – skip it.

And watch out for gravy, which is basically salty, flavored fat.

Finally: Sweet potatoes. One potato has nearly zero fat and only 120 calories – not bad at all. Sweet potatoes also contain an anti-oxidant that fights cancer, and reduces the risk of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Just don’t top yours with a million mini-marshmallows!