Experts reveal simple swaps for a healthy Christmas dinner this year

Enjoy the trimmings while slimming! Experts reveal the VERY simple Christmas dinner swaps that could save you over 600 calories – and you can still enjoy the cheeseboard

  • The Hospital Group has come up with some simple swaps to cut sugar and fat
  • Includes vegetarian stuffing and using cocktail sausages for pigs in blankets
  • Suggest switching out goose fat for olive oil for roast potatoes this Christmas

For most of us, the festive season is a time for indulgence – mince pies every day in December, a Christmas dinner plate so full of food you can barely move afterwards, and an enormous sandwich packed with leftovers the day after.

But all these treats can leave you feeling sluggish, and the return to the gym in January becomes more and more daunting.

This Christmas, The Hospital Group has come up with some simple swaps to cut down on calories, fat and sugar without missing out on flavour.

Opting for olive oil over goose fat on your roast potatoes, making your stuffing vegetarian and other easy alternatives can reduce your calorie count by more than 600 calories.

Here, we run through how to have a healthier Christmas dinner this year without missing out on a thing. . . 

Reducing the amount of fat used (100g/ml for 6 portions instead of 4 portions) saves you 8g of fat and 94 calories per serving. Using olive oil instead of goose fat also reduces the amount of saturated fat. Too much saturated fat in the diet can cause detrimental changes in the balance of the types of cholesterol in the blood 

The beauty of this simple swap is the main ingredient of chipolatas that are usually used to serve a classic pigs in blankets dish can be easily replaced with cocktail sausages. The bacon remains the same but with a hint of added sweetness from the prunes and honey. This cuts the fat intake by 9g, a huge difference for a side dish, and you also cut out the extra 92 calories 

Wensleydale is around 108 calories per 30g serving with 8g of fat. Feta cheese is also a similar texture for your taste buds and only 79 calories per 30g serving and with only 6g fat how could you say no? 

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Christmas in a bite, traditional mince pies are the festive season all over. Sugar and butter take lead as main ingredients but if you fancy some new flavours; orange, cranberry & almond might be the answer. This alternative recipe will shed 70 calories per mince pie and slide off 2g of sugar 

The main ingredient of this wonderful Christmas dinner extra is the large amount of sausage meat it takes to create this dish. Per serving you’re looking at around 328 calories and 22g of fat, not what you might expect from such a small part of the ensemble. If you’d prefer a lighter bite, apricot and hazelnut stuffing could be your answer, saving 204 calories per serving and knocking off 15g of fat 

Keeping us cosy, mulled wine can be spotted several times when visiting the Christmas markets and with such a rich flavour comes a pocket full of sugar, with mulled wine containing around 13.6g per serving. The Spiced Apple Syrup with Clementine and Cloves is a great alternative with natural ingredients, delivering a huge 155 calorie cut to mulled wine 

If you’ve managed to hold out for dessert, the Christmas pudding is the classic way to go. Usually packed with citrus and spice, this loaded dessert holds around 596 calories per serving with 69g of sugar. If you’re fancying something a little lighter, a suits-all Christmas cake may be the way forward. Packed with orange, cinnamon and rose, this pudding will please the family and it weighs in at 396 calories per serving, saving you 200 calories with some those little nutritious ingredient swaps 

Classic Cheddar is a cheeseboard classic which is 126 calories per 30g serving. Surprisingly the Camembert was found to be a healthier alternative. This soft cheese is 85 calories per 30g serving, saving you 42 calories each go around 

After comparing four of the most popular chocolate tins bought on the run-up to Christmas, we looked at the average of each of these servings, finding that roughly every handful of chocolates is 128 calories with a whopping 17.7g of sugar. If you’re thinking of making your own treats this season, we suggest homemade peppermint creams which cuts out 76 calories per serving and is also fat-free if the optional chocolate is not used

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