Six ways to add nutrition to your Christmas meal (without ruining the taste)

Gourmet Fuel's Emma Buckley says between turkey and vegetables it's easy!

Christmas dinner is the one meal you can have plenty of anti-oxidant rich vegetable options: Brussels sprouts, carrots, peas, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower cheese, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic in the turkey and stuffing, the list is endless.

Whether it’s having vegetable sticks as a snack, extra salad leaves in the prawn cocktail, smoked salmon as a canapé, however you do it… just do it.

  1. When making the cheese sauce, cut a few fat calories by using low-fat milk.
  2. Turkey is a great meat, a wonderful source of protein and is low in fat, as long as you avoid the skin.
  3. The amount of protein on your plate should be about the size of the palm of your hand and the thickness of a deck of cards but given that it’s Christmas day, you’ll probably go for a little more.
  4. Ham is also a good source of protein and iron, it can be high in salt and this can be lowered by soaking overnight, then boiling for 20 minutes, change the water and then slowly boil.
  5. Roast potatoes and other vegetables in olive oil and use lots of herbs for flavouring.
  6. To make gravy, let the turkey juices settle so that you can spoon the fat off the top.

Calorie burning

Work off the feast with this calorie guide from Allan Borushek:

  • 375ml beer: 27-minute walk; 15-minute jog
  • 30g piece of crackling: 30-minute walk; 17-minute jog
  • 100g plum pudding, 100ml brandy custard: 1¼-hour walk; 42-minute jog
  • 20g low-fat crisps: 20-minute walk; 11-minute-jog
  • 350ml soft drink: 30-minute walk; 16-minute jog

Read Emma's guide to how to avoid drinking your calories over the silly season!

Emma Buckley is Director of Nutrition at GourmetFuel®, one of Ireland’s leading health and nutrition companies.  GourmetFuel® offer full meal service provision, nutrition and exercise plans, taking the guesswork out of eating healthy and correctly!  GourmetFuel® caters for the individual as well as for corporate groups, so if you’d like a free consultation with the nutrition team, contact them on 01 2938 792 or visit www.gourmetfuel.com. Delivery is nationwide.