Let’s face it, we all love to feast at Christmas.
But no one wants to emerge the other side looking like Santa’s bigger cousin.
So how do you tuck into festive treats without trimming the taste? York health and wellbeing mutual Benenden asked nutritionist Angela Dowden for some ideas.
And the answer, it seems, is often a simple swap…
Swap 1: Cheesy does it
For 40g Camembert (116 calories)
SAVE 48 calories
As a rule of thumb, softer, whiter cheeses are less fattening than harder, yellower ones. Camembert is also very rich in folic acid – a B vitamin that plays a role in fighting fatigue.
Swap 2: Get mashed
For 150g swede, carrot and potato mash with a knob of butter (83 calories)
SAVE 133 calories
Mash is generally a lower-calorie choice compared with roast potatoes, especially when you add swede and carrot. The mash is higher in vitamin C too.
Swap 3: A nut cracking idea
For a handful of roasted chestnuts (61 calories)
SAVE 90 calories
All nuts are nutritious but Christmassy roasted chestnuts are the best option to choose to keep calories down as they’re low fat. You cut down on salt by going for this option too.
Swap 4: Magic marzipan
For a marzipan fruit (60 calories)
SAVE 208 calories
For the same sweetness hit, but far fewer calories, swap a slice of Christmas cake for a marzipan fruit. Made with almonds, marzipan supplies the cell-protective antioxidant vitamin E.
Swap 5: Stuff it!
For 50g dry mix stuffing made up according to packet instructions (66 calories)
SAVE 82 calories
Opt for packet stuffing to save calories – it’s not as rich, but just as tasty with gravy.
Swap 6: Stick to this
For 2 cocktail sausages on sticks (42 calories)
SAVE 28 calories
Ditching the pastry means you also reduce calories and saturated fat. And those cocktail sticks on your plate are a visible reminder of how much you’ve eaten, which can act as a brake on your consumption.
Swap 7: Lift the lid
For a mince tartlet (160 calories)
SAVE 80 calories
By flicking the pasty top off a mince pie you save 80 calories – a sacrifice well worth making as you’re still left with a sweet and succulent treat.
Swap 8: Ham it up
For 2 slices of Parma ham with melon (106 calories)
SAVE 198 calories
Choose the second of these traditional starters and you’ll save nearly 200 calories. The melon also counts as one of your five a day.
Swap 9: Top topping
For 20g crème fraîche (77 calories)
SAVE 45 calories
Tangy crème fraîche goes well with rich Christmas pud, and you save 45 calories compared with brandy butter. That saving increases to 88 calories if you go for half-fat crème fraîche.
Swap 10: Get fizzical
For a 125ml flute of champagne (95 calories)
SAVE xx calories
Sip a glass of brut (very dry) Champagne and you’ll save around 100 calories compared with a typical serving of mulled wine. Cheers!