Be a Christmas angel and don’t break the calorie bank

Cara Cunningham, MINDI, Community Dietitian

The new is good Christmas dinner is healthy – well bits of it are! But if you stop yourself not going too mad on the extras you can have a healthier Christmas and limit the damage to your waistline.

· Turkey is a low fat healthy meat that is full of protein which will fill you up. When cooking the turkey don’t smoother with oil, butter, margarine or lard, use a pastry brush and add a light covering of oil. As with all poultry, the skin as this is were most of the fat is hiding, so remove it before you tuck in. Just 15g of skin will contain 6g of fat and 70 Kcals (all in a mouthful! ).

· Make sure you pile your plate with seasonal vegetables. If you steam veggies rather than boiling them you will retain more vitamins and taste and serve them nude that is do not smother in butter, one teaspoon of butter will add 35 kcals (approximately one chocolate sweet! ) to your meal.

· When making roast potatoes or roast vegetable, parboil them first, and then lightly brush them with oil before putting them into a hot oven. Large roast potatoes will absorb less fat and so will be better.

· For gravy, use the meat juices by drain off any excess fat.

· Don’t be a devil with desserts! Watch out for cream, brandy butter and custard – try for a more fruit based dessert.

· Burn off the calories by going for walks, swap card games for more active games like Twister and charades. The more time you are out of your seat and moving the better.

Christmas is a time for excess but you can calm down the excess (even slightly ), it might lead to a happier new year!

For more information or for more information on diet and nutrition, please contact: The Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE Dublin-Mid Leinster Tel: (044 ) 9395518 or email [email protected].

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