Healthy Christmas eating is more straightforward if you follow a few basic rules and include festive food that is wholesome and natural, and minimize how much unhealthy food you
Believe it or not, the traditional roast turkey dinner is good for you and packed with wholesome goodness, vitamins and anti-oxidants; it’s what you put with it that piles on those extra pounds.
For a healthy Christmas you must cut down on your fat, sugar and salt intake and control the amount of calories you
So does striving for a healthy Christmas mean you have to give up all your festive treats?
Absolutely not, if you drastically downsize the amount of unhealthy food you
have and significantly increase your portions of healthy fruit, vegetables, nuts and lean meat then you will sail through your Christmas holiday without gaining weight or feeling deprived and hungry.
To be honest, what you do
for the rest of the year is far more important. If you normally follow
a healthy eating plan for most of the time then a few indiscretions
over the holidays are not going to cause you too many problems.
The most important aspect of healthy eating is to be aware of basic food values so that you do not unconsciously give your body worthless foods that it cannot use.
A good healthy eating guide like
this one, will help you understand which food you should be eating to stay healthy and which unhealthy foods you should avoid.
The traditional Christmas dinner of white turkey meat is in fact low in fat, high in protein, high in B vitamins, and it is lower in fat and calories than the dark turkey meat, which makes it exactly the type of meat you should be eating to keep you healthy.
In reality, many of the foods we consume at Christmastime are actually good for us when prepared with minimal added fat, sugar and salt, and eaten in moderation. As always, everything in moderation is the key to not over indulging, or ruining your health or putting on weight.
Turkey, for instance, is a good source of protein and if you eat it without the skin, it is actually low in fat. This is because the skin on a turkey, or any other roasted poultry, is where most of the fat is and if you remove the skin you can cut around 40 calories per portion. Also the light turkey meat has slightly fewer calories than the dark meat, so always choose turkey breast instead of leg or thigh. In addition to this turkey meat provides important B vitamins, which your body needs for producing energy.
If you prick the skin of the turkey before you cook it you will allow a lot of the fat to drain out and if you also cook it on a rack or trivet you can prevent it from sitting in fat.
Chestnuts are low in fat and a good source of potassium, which we need for healthy kidneys. Many people like chestnuts in the stuffing or cooked with sprouts. For the stuffing choose a chestnut or fruit-based stuffing instead of the more traditional sausage meat and you will cut out more calories.
Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrate and are almost fat free (until they're roasted in oil or fat). If you are seriously looking for a healthy alternative or counting calories then baked potatoes are just as tasty but much better for you. If you really can’t do without your roast potatoes then only have two or three small ones.
You can make a low-fat gravy by pouring the juices from the turkey into a jug and then waiting for the fat to rise to the surface. Carefully pour or spoon off the fat and then use the fat-free juices to make your own gravy.
Instant gravy granules or similar can be high in salt and too much salt may increase your blood pressure so if you have instant gravy, do no add more salt to your Christmas dinner.
Brussels sprouts are a good source of folate (a B vitamin) and vitamin C, which may help to protect against heart disease and cancer. Sprouts are also high in vitamin K which helps with bone formation and blood clotting. And because they are fibrous sprouts help to keep your digestive system healthy.
Always serve plenty of vegetables because they are low in both calories and fat, so the more healthy vegetables you eat the less room you will have to eat unhealthy food.
Healthy Christmas Pudding
on it's own is actually fairly low in fat and high in carbohydrate so make sure the one you choose contains lots of fruit and maybe nuts too. Christmas pudding provides some fibre (from the fruit), B vitamins, potassium, iron and calcium.
Although many are high in sugar one small portion after Christmas dinner is fine especially if you had plenty of vegetables with your main course because you should be too full to eat a bigger portion anyway.
If you like to have cream with your Christmas pudding this might not be the best option because:
Single cream contains 297 calories and 28.7 grams of
fat in every 150 grams.
Double cream is even worse and comes in at a whopping 674 calories and 72 grams of fat for the same sized portion.
Brandy Butter is the worst of all and has 820 calories and 57.3 grams of fat in 150 grams and also contains 66.3 grams of sugar.
You can drastically cut down on calories if you have brandy sauce or a low fat custard.
Birds Brandy Sauce is a better option and each 100ml serving contains just 97 calories and 1.5 grams of fat.
Ambrosia Low Fat Devon Custard is almost the same with each 100 gram serving containing 93 calories and 1.8 grams of fat.
So by just swapping brandy butter for Birds brandy sauce you can effectively cut more than 500 calories just from your Christmas pudding.
Healthy Christmas Vegetables
Broccoli is low in calories, fat-free, and high in vitamins A and C.
Green beans are low in calories, fat-free, high in vitamins C and K, and high in fiber.
Green peas are fat-free,
and high in vitamin K, folic acid and fiber.
Sprouts are low in calories, fat-free, high in vitamins C and K, and high in fiber.
Sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and high in vitamins A and C, and
Other Healthy Christmas Foods
Cranberries are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol free, high in fiber, and high in vitamins A and C.
Red wine is fat-free and high in heart-healthy antioxidants, but the recommended allowance is one alcoholic beverage per day for women and two per day for men.
Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants.
Cinnamon is a festive spice associated with Christmas and used in Mulled Wine, research has found that it can help to lower blood sugar, improve diabetes and aid in bacterial infections.
Nuts - In their natural state, nuts have an equal amount of protein and
fat to meat so they make a good meat replacement.They also contain vitamin E, folate, phosphorus, potassium,
copper and magnesium.In
fact, peanuts contain the same heart-healthy antioxidants as red wine.
See Power Foods.
Fruit - Fruit is an excellent source of vitamins and anti-oxidants and because they can be eaten raw they make your body work hard to digest
them which means eating fruit can help you burn up calories.
Healthy Christmas Video
Gordon Ramsay Christmas Recipes: Mulled Wine with Toasted Spiced Nuts
Tip: If you are
cutting down on salt then leave out the salt from the toasted nuts
Healthy Christmas Eating Tips
Christmas morning can be hectic so make sure you start your day with a satisfying breakfast. Choose a wholegrain cereal such as
oatmeal or muesli; you can add fresh blueberries or sliced banana to make it more interesting.
Sitting down to a proper breakfast will set you up for the day and stop you feeling peckish while you’re preparing food or waiting for food to be served and you won’t be so tempted to snack on unhealthy tit-bits.
Don't clean up by finishing
off others left-overs, this especially applies if you have small
children who are fussy eaters. If food is left uneaten on a plate, throw it away.
This might seen like sacrilege to you if you hate waste but your health
is more important.
Help yourself to fresh fruit and mixed nuts.
Avoid eating too many sausage rolls, mince pies and vol-au-vents and go easy on the Christmas
cake instead you can occupy your hands by peeling satsuma oranges or
Keep your hands off the kid’s selection boxes in the evening.
Move about more and keep active to burn off the calories you do eat, don’t be tempted to sit on the couch all day in front of the television eating unhealthy snacks and drinking sugary drinks. Go out for a walk either on your own, with a family member or just the dog, to get your circulation moving and keep your heart healthy.
Drink plenty of water because alcohol is very dehydrating, dehydration
actually contributes to the sensation of feeling drunk so drinking plenty of water will stop your body from dehydrating.
Water not only helps to flush out any salt and toxins, it also helps to reduce bloating, increases your energy levels and keeps annoying cravings at bay.
Just remember... a little
of what you fancy does you good so all things in moderation and nothing to excess and you should enjoy a very
Christmas Free Giveaway
If your goal this Christmas is
not to gain weight then
you may be interested in this little ebook I have put together which is full of clever diet tips for Christmas and is laid out in an easy to follow format that will guide you through every temptation you are likely to encounter.
You can print it out and keep a copy handy for quick reference over the Festive Season.
50 Christmas Diet Tips Includes:
Ways to lose weight with Fat Busting Christmas Dinner diet
How to avoid gaining excess pounds with these Saucy Tips
Fruity ways to enjoy your favorite tipple without fear of weight
Clever alcoholic tips so Happy Hour is every hour
Beat the bulge this Christmas with these tasty low fat options
How to Party the night away so you won’t hate yourself in the morning!
Make life easy for yourself this
Christmas and download your free copy of 50 Christmas Diet Tips by
following the instructions below:
Information provided on Beauty-Secrets4U is for your general knowledge only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should consult your doctor with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your