Afraid of piling on the pounds during the festive season? We’re here to help
Food is a huge part of Christmas. For a lot of people in fact, it’s more important than presents and is at the top of their list of priorities come December.
Unfortunately however, indulging in the delicious food often comes at a price. Gaining weight over the festive period is a concern for many people trying to watch their waistlines and it can be very difficult to stay on the straight and narrow when everywhere you look there are mince pies and cheese boards.
You’ll be pleased to hear that all is not lost. Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at superfooduk.com, has drawn up a list of food swaps you can make to keep your healthy eating on track this Christmas without missing out on all the tasty fun. Enjoy!
1 Swap: roast potatoes in goose fat for roasted parsnips with paprika
100 grams of roasted potatoes in goose fat contains 316 calories and 13.5 grams of fat, and doesn’t offer many nutritional benefits. Parsnips on the other hand count as one of your five-a-day and are a good source of vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin C and folate. And, not only will the paprika add flavour, but it will also give the dish a nutritional boost as it’s high in beta carotene which the body converts to vitamin A. One tablespoon of paprika will give you 70 percent of the recommended daily amount of vitamin A.
2 Swap: stilton and port for goat’s cheese and grapes
Stilton cheese has a high calorie and fat content and a glass of port bumps up the number of calories consumed. Goat’s cheese, which is equally delicious, contains less of both and grapes are a much kinder option for your liver. Not quite the same, we know…
3 Swap: vol-au-vents for filo tartlets
The key difference here is the type of pastry. Vol-au-vents are made with puff pastry which contains 551 calories and 38 grams of fat per 100 grams, whereas filo pastry only has 299 calories and 6 grams of fat per 100 grams. Keep your eyes peeled for those tartlets at Christmas parties!
4 Swap: pigs in blankets for parma ham and asparagus
Sausages wrapped in bacon are a staple of the classic Christmas dinner, but as they are usually fried the fat content is quite high - 19.3 grams per 100 grams to be precise. Parma ham contains considerably less fat and calories and asparagus helps to support healthy digestion, plus it counts as one of your five-a-day.
Swap: honey-glazed ham for smoked salmon
The amount of fat and number of calories in these two foods are similar but smoked salmon is the better choice based on its nutritional content as it is rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids. Pescetarians rejoice!
Swap: stollen for chestnuts
It might taste great, but a slice of stollen contains 254 calories and is high in fat and sugar, so why not opt for chestnuts instead? They’re less calorific and sugary but just as Christmassy, and they also serve as a good source of protein.
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