Hey people! Hope you are all good and looking forward to Christmas! I am here to tell you how you can cut 500kcal from your traditional Christmas dinner without sacrificing on the taste!
Turkey is a great protein source, and without the skin, is low in fat. It provides B vitamins, which you need for energy production.
The skin on a turkey, is where most of the fat is. If you remove the skin you can save around 40kcal per portion. Light meat has slightly fewer calories than dark meat, so choose breast instead of leg or thigh.
Before you cook your turkey, prick the skin to allow the fat to drain out.
Problem: 100g of butter-basted turkey, with the skin on, has 146kcal, 4.9g fat (2g saturates).
Solution: 100g of skinless turkey has 104kcal, 2g fat (0.2g saturates).
Chestnuts are low in fat and a good source of potassium, which we need for healthy kidneys. Choose a chestnut or fruit-based stuffing instead of one that consists of sausage meat.
Problem: 100g of sausage meat stuffing has 252kcal, 16g fat (7g saturates).
Solution: 100g of cranberry, orange and roast chestnut stuffing has 162kcal, 0.8g fat (0.1g saturates).
Calorie saving: 90kcal.
Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrate and are almost fat free (before they’re roasted in oil or fat). Baked potatoes can be just as tasty but much better for you.
Problem: 100g of potatoes roasted in oil have 149kcal, 4.5g fat (0.5g saturates).
Solution: 100g of baked potato has 109kcal, 0.1g fat (0g saturates).
Calorie saving: 40kcal.
To make low fat gravy, pour turkey juices into a jug and wait for the fat to rise to the surface. Then spoon off the fat before using the juices to make gravy. Gravy can be high in salt. Too much salt may increase blood pressure. If you have gravy, don’t add salt to your meal.
Use semi skimmed milk to make your sauce, and add a clove of garlic to the milk to add flavour!
Problem: 100g of luxury bread sauce mix has 355kcal, 6.4g fat (3.3g saturates).
Solution: 100g of bread sauce made with semi-skimmed milk has 93kcal, 3.1g fat (1.4g saturates).
Calorie saving: 262kcal.
Brussels sprouts are a good source of folate (a B vitamin) and vitamin C, which may help to protect against heart disease and cancer. They also contain fibre, which helps to keep the digestive system healthy.
Stack your plate up with vegetables as they’re low in calories and fat, but please don’t smother them in butter!
Problem: one teaspoon (5g) of butter adds 37kcal, 4.1g fat (2.8g saturates).
Solution: use chopped fresh herbs or lemon zest to add flavour. They have almost no calories.
Calorie saving: 37kcal.
Christmas pudding is actually fairly low in fat and high in carbohydrate. It provides some fibre, B vitamins, potassium, iron and calcium. Try and have just one small portion after lunch as it’s high in sugar.
Boost your calcium intake by eating it with low-fat custard, made from semi-skimmed milk. Or you can have fat-free Greek yoghurt instead of brandy butter or double cream.
Problem: 1tbsp (15g) of brandy butter has 81kcal, 5.8g fat (3.9g saturates). 2tbsp (30g) of double cream has 133kcal, 14.2g fat (8.9g saturates).
Solution: 3tbsp (45g) of low-fat custard has 27kcal, 0.6g fat (0.54g saturates). 2tbsp (30g) of 0% fat Greek yoghurt has 16kcal, 0g fat.
Calorie saving: 117kcal.
If you decide to make all these food swaps, you can save more than 500kcal and cut down your fat intake, which will help to stop the festive weight gain.
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I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I will be back in 2014!