Healthy Christmas Dinner

Here are some nice tips provided by our very own NHS on how to cut out nearly 500 calories from your traditional Chirtmas Dinner without sacrificing the taste.


  • Turkey is a very good source of protein, whilst invariably low in fat when the skin is removed.
  • It provides B vitamins, which you need for energy production.
  • Removing the skin you can save around 40kcal per portion and the lighter meat  has much less calories than dark meat.

Stop: 100g of butter-basted turkey, with the skin on, has 146kcal, 4.9g fat (2g saturates).

Swap: 100g of skinless turkey has 104kcal, 2g fat (0.2g saturates).

Save: 42kcal.


  • Chestnuts are low in fat and a good source of potassium, which we need for healthy kidneys. Choose a chestnut or fruit-based stuffing instead of sausage meat.

Stop: 100g of sausage meat stuffing has 252kcal, 16g fat (7g saturates).

Swap: 100g of cranberry, orange and roast chestnut stuffing has 162kcal, 0.8g fat (0.1g saturates).

Calorie saving: 90kcal.

Roast potatoes

Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrate and are almost fat free (before they’re roasted in oil or fat). Baked potatoes are just as tasty but much better for you.

Stop: 100g of potatoes roasted in oil have 149kcal, 4.5g fat (0.5g saturates).

Swap: 100g of baked potato has 109kcal, 0.1g fat (0g saturates).

Calorie saving: 40kcal.


To make low-fat gravy, pour the turkey juices into a jug and wait for the fat to rise to the surface. Then carefully pour or spoon off the fat before using the juices to make gravy.

Gravy can be high in salt. Too much salt may increase blood pressure. If you have gravy, try not to add salt to your meal.



Brussels sprouts are a good source of folate (a B vitamin) and vitamin C, which may help to protect against heart disease and cancer. They contain fibre, which helps to keep the digestive system healthy.

Serve plenty of vegetables as they’re low in calories and fat, but don’t smother them in butter.

Stop: one teaspoon (5g) of butter adds 37kcal, 4.1g fat (2.8g saturates).

Swap: use chopped fresh herbs or lemon zest to add flavour. They have almost no calories.

Calorie saving: 37kcal.

Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding is fairly low in fat and high in carbohydrate. It provides some fibre, B vitamins, potassium, iron and calcium. But have just one small portion after lunch as it’s high in sugar.

You can boost your calcium intake by eating it with low-fat custard, made from semi-skimmed milk. Or have fat-free Greek yoghurt instead of brandy butter or double cream.

Stop: 1tbsp (15g) of brandy butter has 81kcal, 5.8g fat (3.9g saturates). 2tbsp (30g) of double cream has 133kcal, 14.2g fat (8.9g saturates).

Swap: 3tbsp (45g) of low-fat custard has 27kcal, 0.6g fat (0.54g saturates). 2tbsp (30g) of 0% fat Greek yoghurt has 16kcal, 0g fat.

Calorie saving: 117kcal.

If you look to make these food swaps, you can save more than 500kcal and cut down your fat intake, which will help to stop the festive weight gain. However, remember than when it comes to any meal that portion size is everything, fill up on greens and try and avoid the extra portions of the most calorific foods.