Christmas is not a low calorie, reduced fat time of year. On December 25th families everywhere sit down to over indulge and share a calorific meal together to celebrate Christmas. We offer you healthier options to give you a guilt free Christmas at the most fattening time of the year!
Simply replacing your Pate and crusty loaf with balled melon is of course a healthier way to start your meal, however, it may not be very satisfying. An alternative to fatty processed meats is a healthy yet tasty soup, filled with vegetables and crammed with vitamins. Easily made vegetarian by replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock; butternut squash soup is a crowd pleaser for all.
With only 82 calories per 205g, 22g of carbs and 7g of protein; butternut squash is a fantastic way to reduce fat intake before your turkey. Not only is this sweet root vegetable tasty, but it is also packed full of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants. After a long night of celebrating the festive season with friends and family before opening presents in the early hours of Christmas morning, your body would gladly welcome this tasty dish. Vitamin A and C work as potent antioxidants, so you are sure to feel much more revitalised after your starter on Christmas day!
Don’t worry, we won’t take your turkey away from you on Christmas day. In fact, turkey is much healthier than many other Christmas meat choices. Leaner than chicken and much less fat than a goose, turkey is a fantastic choice of meat to go with your vegetables. Just one turkey breast is packed full of more than half of most people’s daily protein requirement. You will be happy to know that turkey is lower in fat and cholesterol than beef, chicken or pork, eating the lean meat helps to lower Cholesterol. Your favourite part of the Christmas dinner might actually be one of the most beneficial bits!
Not for everyone; sprouts are a wonder veg! Although they may not be to your taste, you can rest assured those green little balls are extremely healthy for you. From iron to protein; sprouts have it all packed into one bite sized portion. Your Christmas dinner is sure to count towards a few of your five a day; 80g of sprouts count as one of your five a day and are an excellent source of vitamin K. Vitamin K is absolutely vital for blood clotting and helping to heal wounds, so that bump you had after too many sherries last night is sure to heal quickly with a good portion of sprouts.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire! A long British tradition and a real home comfort, roasted chestnuts are a must this time of year! As Nat King Cole sang you can roast them on the fire and even add them to your sprouts, but did you know they’re one of the healthiest nuts? Unlike other nuts chestnuts are lower in calories and fat, packed with fibre and Vitamins A, B, C and E! Comforting, tasty and a true taste of Christmas, chestnuts will ensure you stay clear of constipation after your huge meal!
Finally, it is time to set the pudding alight and open the brandy sauce, ready to indulge in something sweet. Although many people believe Christmas pudding is unhealthy, this is in fact only true if you eat a whole one to yourself!
Christmas pudding contains sultanas, currants, nuts, eggs, spice and citrus peel; all of which are healthy ingredients! Scientist Dr Harold Bays states, “Raisins are packed with potassium which is known to lower blood pressure. They are also a good source of antioxidant dietary fibre that may cause blood vessels to be less rigid which in turn may reduce blood pressure.” If that isn’t a reason to stuff your face full of the fruity pudding, I don’t know what is! One ounce of raisins provides around 50mg of iron or about the same as in an ounce of steak; imagine how many raisins are in your slice of pudding!
It is relatively easy to be healthy over the Christmas period by simply making the right balanced choices and not over indulging to the point of sickness! The majority of your Christmas dinner is extremely healthy for you and with just a few minor changes you will find it is even more nutritious than you think. Remember to enjoy drink responsibly and eat more fibre as the family meals increase over the festive season.
Merry Christmas from alldayDr!