Leaner, Healthier Christmas Dinner

Posted: 02/12/2013

Leaner, Healthier Christmas Dinner

Its that time of year again and chocolate selection boxes are a-plenty but if you are looking to cut down your fat intake yet still indulge in delicious food we have a perfect menu for you!


  • Why not stop with the breaded chicken pieces (40kcal, 2g fat) and swap for a marinated chicken bite (29kcal, 0.8g fat).
  • Swap your handful of ready salted crisps (155kcal, 9.7g fat) for a handful of tortilla chips (147kcal, 7.3g fat).
  • Stop eating two cheese straws (100kcal, 6.4g fat) and swap for one large breadstick (25kcal, 0.4g fat).
  • Think fat when choosing your dips this Christmas. 2tbsp sour cream and chive dip (110kcal, 11.3g fat). Swap for 2tbsp salsa (20kcal, trace fat).
  • Go for pretzels instead of nuts this festive season. 30g handful of salted peanuts has 184kcal, 15.7g fat. Whereas 30g handful of pretzels has only 114kcal, 0.8g fat.
  • Why not swap chocolate orange (3 pieces 139kcal, 7.9g fat) for three sticks of chocolate-covered orange peel to winter? (90kcal, 3.9g fat)

Christmas Dinner:

Turkey- protein and vitamin D

If you remove the skin of your bird this Christmas you can save around 40kcal per portion. Light meat also has slightly fewer calories than dark meat, so choose breast instead of leg or thigh.
Pricking the skin of the bird before you cook it allows the fat to drain out. Cook it on a trivet or upturned ovenproof plate so it’s not sitting in the fat.

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 as they are low in fat and a good source of potassium.

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).
Save: 90kcal.

Roast potatoes

Why not bake your potatoes instead of roasting them. After all potatoes are almost fat free before they’re roasted in oil or fat.

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).
Save: 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.


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).
Save: 37kcal.

Christmas pudding

Christmas pudding is fairly low in fat and high in carbohydrate. It provides some fibre, B vitamins, potassium, iron and calcium. Make this healthier 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.
Save: 117kcal.

If you make all these food swaps, you can save more than 500kcal and cut down your fat intake, which will help to stop the festive weight gain.



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