If there’s ever a time to eat too much, then it has to be Christmas. However, if you’re managing your weight or a diet-related condition like diabetes you might be feeling gloomy about a Christmas where all the best foods are off the menu. However, according to ECH Dietitian Deepti Parmar, healthy eating doesn’t mean having to miss out on festive treats. A few simple food swaps and thinking about what you eat could be the key to a delicious and healthy holiday season. Deepti explains; “Around Christmas I tell people to be mindful of what they are eating and eat little amounts of everything, so if you are reaching for the chocolates and cakes, also make sure you’re having some salads and veggies.”
Here are some simple swaps you can make this Christmas.
CHERRIES INSTEAD OF CHOCOLATE
Summer is a brilliant time for delicious in-season cherries, mangoes, apricots, nectarines, strawberries and more, so rather than having a box of chocolates on the side, try snacking on a bowl of ripe cherries or other delicious summer fruits.
FILO PASTRY FOR PUFF PASTRY
Puff pastry is very high in fat and can in many recipes easily be replaced with filo pastry which is low fat. Brush the filo with milk between layers and only use oil on the outer layer.
MARGARINE OR VEGETABLE OIL INSTEAD OF BUTTER FOR BAKING
Salted butter is very high in saturated fat and salt, yet in many recipes for cakes and biscuits it can easily be swapped with low fat margarine or vegetable oils without affecting the taste.
MEAT AND VEGGIE COMBOS
If you are cooking meat, look for lean options and find ways to add veggies, for example making barbecue skewers with half chicken and half colourful veggies like tomatoes and capsicum for an attractive healthy meal.
VEGE CRUDITÉ OVER CRACKERS
Crackers can be high in calories and salt for their tiny size. Veggie crudités can be made from carrots, cucumber, capsicum or any veggies you love and are a great alternative with cheese or dips.
To learn more about Dietetic Services or book an initial consultation, visit ech.asn.au or call 1300 275 324