How to tuck in and enjoy your food, but still stay healthy

Times Series: The good guys – baby sprouts with pancetta and thyme, from Waitrose The good guys – baby sprouts with pancetta and thyme, from Waitrose

In the normal course of a day we can pack away up to 90 grams of fat, but if your family sits down to a typical Christmas dinner, they’ll be looking at a whacking great 114.2 grams per person – in one hit.

We might get away with it if we sat down for a couple of hours to let it digest and then set off on a two-hour walk... so hands up if you can manage that. No – thought not.

So here are a few tips to help chip away at that collosal intake.

Give the turkey skin a miss. Just a small piece can give you 6 grams of fat and will set you back 70 calories. Three slices of breast meat should satisfy your desires, but you’ll need 20 minutes of running to work off the 140 calories and 1.8 grams of fat.

When the roast potatoes reach you, stop when you have three on your plate, unless you can manage more than 20 minutes of cycling on top of your walk.

Potatoes are best eaten boiled with the skin left on to maximise fibre and vitamin C, but who can resist a roast tatty on Christmas Day, completely naked (no skin) and crisped up with butter or fat?

Pigs in blankets are the next hazard on your plate. Do we need to spell it out?

Now for some brighter news. Brussels sprouts, carrots and parsnips are all the good guys on your plate. Roast parsnips are the only slightly naughty characters among this group, contributing 13 grams of fat compared with zero of the other two.

On the plus side, all of these characters provide plenty of vitamins and minerals. Having said all that, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the typical treats and goodies, so the answer is to enjoy your favourites in moderation and to stick with one or two treats instead of taking everything that’s thrown at you.

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