If you don’t want your diet de-railed by Christmas foods, follow nutritionist Shona Wilkinson’s top tips for a healthy Christmas diet with these nifty food swaps.
1. Roasted potatoes in goose fat for roasted parsnips with paprika
Potatoes are classed as root vegetables, but they don't count towards your 5-a-day as they mainly contribute starch to the diet.
100g of roasted potatoes in goose fat contains 316 kcal and 13.5g of fat.
Parsnip is also a starchy vegetable, however it still counts towards your 5-a-day because it’s a source of vitamins and minerals.
Adding the paprika gives an extra nutritional boost as well as making them delicious. It is very high in Beta Carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A.
One tablespoon of paprika will give you 70% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.
100g serving of roasted parsnips is approx. 135kcal with 5.1grams of fat – almost three times less than the roast potatoes!
2. Pigs in blankets for Parma ham and asparagus
Pigs in blankets are sausages wrapped in bacon.
They are then generally fried making their fat content quite high, 19.3g of fat per 100g. They also contain 289kcal.
Why not swap this unhealthy dish for Parma ham wrapped asparagus? The fibre content of the asparagus helps support healthy digestion and 100g of it only contains 13 kcal.
Add in approximately four slices of Parma ham and you are still under 10g of fat and around 136 kcal.
3. Mince pies for Pavlova
One mince pie can have up to 350kcal, almost 17g of fat and a whopping 20g of sugar (5 teapsoons!).
A Pavlova with fruit and cream has slightly less calories, with 288 kcal and 13.2g of fat.
It is however much higher in sugar, so my suggestion would be to ask for the fresh fruit with a little bit of cream (as the majority of the sugar is coming from the Pavlova base).
4. Stilton and port for goats’ cheese and grapes
Stilton cheese has a high fat and calorie content. 100g contains 362 kcal and 31g of fat.
Adding a glass of port to this snack bumps up the calories another 165kcal.
Swap this for goats’ cheese, which has slightly less calories and less fat; 100g contains 320 kcal and 25g fat. Add some grapes instead of the port and it’s less than half the calories – and it’s better for your liver.
5. Eggnog for prosecco
Eggnog is higher in calories; 145 kcal and 9g of sugar per serving. Prosecco per glass (approximately 125ml) has only 75 kcal and around 1g of sugar.
Either option should be drunk in moderation as they both contain alcohol.
6. Chocolate log for Pannettone
Chocolate log is calorie rich with 100g having 453kcal and 22.8g of fat. Swap it for Pannettone (287kcal and 5.3g per 100g).
7. Honey glazed ham for smoked salmon
The calories and fat content are similar between these two products.
However, smoked salmon is a better choice as it’s rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids.
8. Stollen for roasted chestnuts
One slice has 254kcal, and is high in fat and sugar. Eat 10 roasted chestnuts instead will provide just over 200kcal, and only 1.85g of fat, less than 9g of sugar and almost 3g of protein.