We dug into Christmas dinner early this year, pulling apart that classic festive feast to see what’s worth taking a second helping of and what you could avoid.
It’s only on the table once a year, so don’t be too strict with yourself! But for anyone who wants to cut down on some Christmas calories, here are our top tips…
The bird itself is a fantastic source of protein. Turkey provides the vital B vitamins your body needs for energy production. And if you can resist the skin, it’s even low in fat, so don’t be afraid to tuck in!
Tip: Breast is best for calories, containing fewer than the rest of the meat. But by removing the skin you’ll save yourself a further 40 calories per serving!
Traditional stuffing can be high in protein but is even higher in fat content. A nut or fruit-based stuffing is a great alternative to sausage meat if you’re looking to squeeze into your Boxing Day jeans! Chestnut stuffing is particularly low in fat and even proves an excellent source of potassium (good news for your kidneys).
Spuds are everybody’s favourite carbohydrate, but roasting adds a lot of fat. If you like boiled potatoes but you don’t want to break with tradition, why not mix up Christmas dinner with a half-and-half option? Half roasties, half boiled?
Gravy can be very high in salt, so too much will increase your blood pressure. But, if you’re a fan, try not salting the rest of the meal; you may find, with plenty of gravy, you don’t need it.
Tip: if you’re making gravy from turkey juices, let the fat rise first then scoop it off before going ahead!
Sprouts divide the Christmas table! If you’re already converted: carry on and dig in! But if you’re not yet a devotee, maybe it’s time to give the greens a go: sprouts aren’t just a great source of fibre, they even provide essential vitamins, some of which may help protect against heart disease and cancer.
Good news: Christmas Pudding is a low-fat dessert! It provides some fibre, potassium, iron, calcium, and loose change for a lucky somebody (occasionally a chipped tooth, too, if they’re not so lucky). The bad news is that this treat’s high in sugar, so maybe don’t get avaricious after dinner!
Tip: if you’re counting calories, try fat-free Greek yoghurt on your pud instead of double cream!