Turkey is a good source of protein and, without the skin, is low in fat. It provides B vitamins, which you need for energy production.
The skin on a turkey, or any other roasted poultry, is where most of the fat is. If you remove the skin 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. Before you cook your bird, prick the skin to allow the fat to drain out. Cook it on a trivet or upturned ovenproof plate so it’s not sitting in the fat. 100g of butter-basted turkey, with the skin on, has 146kcal, Swap: 100g of skinless turkey has 104kcal – Save: 42kcal.
Stuffing – Chestnuts are a good source of potassium, which we need for healthy kidneys. Choose a chestnut or fruit-based stuffing instead of sausage meat. 100g of sausage meat stuffing has 252kcal Swap: 100g of cranberry, orange and roast chestnut stuffing has 162kcal – Calorie saving: 90kcal.
Roast potatoes – Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrate and are healthy (before they’re roasted in oil or fat). Baked potatoes are just as tasty but much better for you. 100g of potatoes roasted in oil have 149kcal Swap: 100g of baked potato has 109kcal – Calorie saving: 40kcal.
Gravy – To make low-calorie 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.
Bread sauce – Use semi-skimmed milk to make your sauce, and add a clove of garlic to the milk to add flavour. 100g of luxury bread sauce mix has 355kcal Swap: 100g of bread sauce made with semi-skimmed milk has 93kcal – Calorie saving: 262kcal.
Christmas pudding is 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 Greek yoghurt instead of brandy butter or double cream. 1tbsp (15g) of brandy butter has 81kcal, 2tbsp (30g) of double cream has 133kcal – Swap: 2tbsp (30g) of Greek yoghurt has 40kcal – Calorie saving: 100kcal.
If you make all these food swaps, you can save around 500kcal which will help to stop the festive weight gain.