Monday 21 January 2019

Revealed: Simple tips to save the Christmas calories this festive season

Christmas turkey
Christmas turkey
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

IT'S one of the most important rituals of Christmas, but experts are warning the festive dinner can contain up to a day's worth of calories.

Safefood, the organisation responsible for raising awareness about healthy eating, said the average Christmas dinner contains 2,000 or more calories, which is the total daily allowance for an average woman.

Experts believe the average person gains one pound over the Christmas season, eating an extra 3,500 calories in a couple of weeks.

Safefood has advised Christmas revellers to make small changes to avoid overeating.

Among them are to trim the fat from the ham and the skin from the turkey.

"Instead of sausage stuffing try a breadcrumb stuffing made with breadcrumbs, chopped garlic, nuts, seeds and seasonal fruit like berries and raisins," it said. Roast potatoes made with a little vegetable oil are healthier than butter, as are mashed potatoes made with low-fat milk, it added.

"Staying active over Christmas also has huge benefits for your body and mind. Get outside, clear your head and walk your way to a healthier Christmas," was the advice for the season.

"Don't munch on bowls of crisps and nuts at parties, just take a few and then move away. Thirty grams of crisps contain around 150 calories and a handful of nuts gives you 256 calories."

Safefood also advised:

  • Eat one mince pie instead of two to save 185 calories;
  • Skip the Christmas pudding and cream after dinner to save 329 calories;
  • Always have a glass of water when drinking alcohol - cutting down by one 125ml glass of wine will save around 100 calories;
  • Have mashed potato and skip the roasties to save 379 calories for three medium roast potatoes;
  • Have a small portion of turkey instead of a large one to save 120 calories;
  • Have a small portion of ham instead of a large one to save 170 calories;
  • Eat two chocolates instead of four to save around 90 calories.

"I would suggest less is more," Cliodhna Foley Nolan, director of human health and nutrition with Safefood, told the Irish Independent.

"Decide on the thing you would be really disappointed if you didn't have and eat a small about of that.

"Whether it be something that is sugary or salty, don't completely deny yourself."

She said one day of indulgence wouldn't do too much damage to someone's body, but advised people that Christmas celebrations could go on for weeks.

Irish Independent

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