How nutritious is traditional Christmas dinner?
Why do we feel that we must overdo it in the culinary stakes, just because it’s Christmas?
What with Christmas parties, lunches, mince pies, nuts, Christmas cake and that oh so attractive cheese board it’s no wonder that most of us forgo our healthy eating regimen and overindulge in the finer things we would usually skip.
But it’s not all bad news. With some careful planning it is simple to make sure there are a variety of healthy, tasty nibbles around the house which will get you into the festive mood but not leave you feeling too guilty.
The key thing about eating over the festive period to try to achieve a balance by eating lower-calorie foods at other times of the day so we do not feel guilty about choosing the foods we enjoy and certainly do not feel like we’re missing out.
Georgina Camfield, Associate Nutritionist at AXA PPP healthcare tells us that we should be striving to maintain our weight over Christmas and not trying to lose it by depriving ourselves of foods we like.
It’s okay to help yourself to the odd sugary or fatty food, just try to eat a smaller portion and savour it by eating it slowly.
Even our traditional Christmas dinner can be nutritious and doesn’t have to be too unhealthy. With just a few tweaks it can provide us with lots of minerals and vitamins.
How nutritious is our traditional Christmas dinner?
A traditional Christmas day meal can be surprisingly healthy. Here is the lowdown on 10 of our Christmas table favourites:
- Smoked salmon -This ideal starter is tasty and low in calories. It gives a good source of protein along with omega-3 fats which promote good heart health.
- Roast turkey – If you don’t eat the skin, turkey is surprisingly low in fat and full of protein. Leftovers can be used in a colourful vitamin rich salad or healthy curry the next day.
- Roast potatoes – ditch the goose fat or lard and roast in olive oil or flaxseed oil to keep the saturated fat down. They’ll absorb less fat if you cut them larger too. They are also a delicious source of vitamin C and energy providing carbohydrates. And for added fibre you can always keep the skins on.
- Brussels sprouts – fabulous for the immune system as they are crammed with vitamin C and folic acid. An average serving of around 9 sprouts will provide half of your daily needs.
- Carrots – served steamed or boiled (or raw as crudités before the main course). Carrots are packed full of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A, along with other carotenoids, are potentially disease-beating antioxidants and also good for eye health.
- Peas – steam peas in a small amount of water. They are a great source of iron, zinc, fibre, folic acid, vitamin E, and most other B vitamins.
- Christmas pudding – try making your own with less sugar as the dried fruit is packed full of it. It also contains plenty of potassium and some iron and fibre.
- Custard – ditch the brandy butter and have custard instead. It is a low fat alternative and a good source of calcium which is vital for good bone health. Even healthier if you choose skimmed or semi-skimmed milk.
- Satsumas – not just a stocking filler, each satsuma will provide half your daily requirement of vitamin C too. Also, great to snack on between meals.
- Walnuts – nuts are packed full of healthy fats and nutrients that promote better heart health and reducing inflammation.
When the partying is over and you have welcomed in the New Year, your resolutions should include positive ways to help you live better. Choose healthier food options, eat smaller portions, make sure you have at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and don’t forget to include more exercise in your daily routine too.
Visit the Silversurfers diet and exercise section for some nutritious inspiration and alternative ways of exercising.
All content on Silversurfers.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated at all as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Silversurfers will not be responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content on www.silversurfers.com and we are also not liable for the content of any external websites or links from or to Silversurfers to any other websites. Please always consult your own doctor if you’re in any way concerned about any aspect of your health.
Have you got a health question?
We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a health related question of your own - about your or your family's health, medication or upcoming procedures, for example - you can also access their, "Ask the Expert" service. Available around the clock, 365 days a year this free resource allows you to ask the team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives and pharmacists about any health concerns you may have - whenever you need them, 24 hours a day, every day. Please get in touch now.
Click below to submit your question online.
AXA PPP healthcare
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!