Full Christmas dinner spread on a table


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Can you have your Christmas lunch and eat it too? Registered nutritionist Kerry Torrens discusses the nutritional value of a turkey dinner, and gives her top tips for making it healthier.

这是主要活动 - 一年中的一天,您在厨房里祈祷的所有努力都聚在一起。但是,您的圣诞节晚餐如何在健康赌注中排名?我们要求注册的营养学家克里·托伦斯(Kerry Torrens)透露一切。


What is a traditional Christmas or Thanksgiving meal?

对于许多人来说,圣诞节晚餐的特色是烤火鸡,其中包括毯子,馅料,烤土豆,面包和酸果蔓酱,所有这些都以大量的肉汁结束。If you’re one of those people who tucks in with careless abandon, then good for you – sadly, for many of us, a plate piled high means tallying the calories and working out the number of gym sessions we’ll need to work it all off.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could forget all that and replace it with enjoying nourishing food alongside friends and family? The good news is you can, because your Christmas plate might be a little healthier than you thought.

We’ve broken down a traditional turkey dinner to highlight the pros and cons of what’s on your plate. Follow our guide and you could be enjoying a healthier Christmas this year.



Still the most popular choice on Christmas Day, with 87% of British people claiming it wouldn’t be Christmas without a roast turkey. It’s also a healthy option – it's low in fat and richer inproteinthan chicken or beef, and is a lean meat that's ideal for those looking to reduce their fat intake or wanting to establish some balance on their plate.

这也是一个很棒的提供商B group of vitamins,包括维生素B3,B6和B12,这些维生素需要帮助我们度过一个繁忙且经常压力很大的圣诞节。

Top tip: opt for a mix of dark and white meat. The dark meat is richer in minerals like iron, while the white meat is lean and rich in protein. Be aware that some turkey joints may be basted or brined, which may add fat and salt to your serving.

为较小的聚会做饭吗?与我们的slow cooker turkey breasts with wine & bacon

Fully Christmas dinner on a plate and a jug of gravy



Don’t forget that ham is high in salt, making it unlikely to be suitable for those following a low-salt diet. The process of curing and smoking meat may result in higher amounts ofcarcinogens, too. TheWorld Health Organisation建议moderating our intake of processed meatslike ham, as well as bacon and sausages.

最重要的提示:in the lead up to Christmas, reduce your intake of these processed meats so you can enjoy moderate amounts on the big day.

Cooking for a crowd? Check out our釉面火腿食谱

Pigs in blankets

This popular Christmas addition also falls into the red, processed meat category, which we are advised to moderate. However, you can make them healthier by creating our clever combo of two all-time classics:pigs in blankets and devils on horseback

Top tip: the addition of dried fruit to your ‘pigs’ adds sweetness and fibre, which works perfectly with the salty, savoury flavours of the meat.


Typically, stuffing is a mix of savoury and sweet ingredients such as breadcrumbs, sausagemeat, onions, herbs, nuts and fruit, all bound together with a little egg. It probably comes as no surprise that stuffing isn’t the healthiest addition to your Christmas or Thanksgiving plate, but that’s no reason to omit it.

制作自制馅料时,请选择补充餐点其他元素的营养密度成分。越来越多的馅料食谱是素食主义者,利用干果,坚果和其他成分来增加质地,风味和兴趣。这可能是一种在盘子中添加更多水果和蔬菜并增加纤维的好方法,这有助于填补您的状态。尝试我们的vegan triple-nut & apple stuffing balls为营养健康的替代品。

Top tip:尽管脂肪较低,但主要是基于谷物的,商店购买的脱水馅料往往含量很高,因此请避免添加任何额外的东西。在烘烤过程中,用水补水,无盐黄油或植物油。

A plate of stuffing next to a bowl of red cabbage

Roast potatoes

Who doesn’t love a roast potato? Cooked well, they add texture with a satisfying crunch and soft, fluffy centre. How you prepare and cook potatoes will impact their nutritional value. Cooking your potatoeswholein their skins retains fibre and some important nutrients, like potassium, magnesium, zinc and iron. That said, when you’re aiming to achieve the perfect golden roastie, peeling and cutting into manageable chunks is typically the way to go.

As well as being a good source of fibre, some of the starch in potatoes is especially good forgut health。This is because it is ‘resistant starch’, meaning it's resistant to our digestion but can be broken down by our gut bacteria, providing them with the fuel they need to function and thrive. When we cook and cool potatoes, such as parboiling before roasting, the starch granules lock together, making them even more rich in this resistant, gut-friendly fibre.

Top tip: why not save time on the big day and boil your potatoes the day before? This will increase the ‘resistant’ starch, which is good for your gut bacteria, while also helpingmanage your waistline。查看我们的分步指南best ever roast potatoes

Brussels sprouts

Not everyone’s favourite, but a clear winner in the health stakes. You may be surprised to learn thatbrussels sproutsare a good source of protein, with over 20% of their calories derived from this crucial macronutrient.


Top tip:甚至转换最热心的布鲁塞尔新芽仇恨者,我们的美味sizzled sprouts with pistachio & pomegranate



It’ll come as no surprise, given their name, that carrots are rich in plant compounds calledcarotenoids。These offer lots of benefits, including maintenance of a well-functioningimmune system, skin health and ageing, as well as supporting the integrity of our mucosal membranes in areas like the respiratory system.

When weroast, bake, griddle or microwave胡萝卜,我们可以改善或至少保持他们的carotenoid content

Top tip: purée carrots and enjoy them with a little fat or oil to increase your ability to absorb these beneficial carotenoids. Alternatively, embrace new flavours at Christmas and try ourcumin-spiced roasted carrots


这些甜美的泥土根是圣诞烤的传统面。一份(80克)提供了您建议的摄入量的五分之一vitamin C,这是我们的重要营养素免疫防御。That’s not all: parsnips are rich in protective plant compounds likequercetin, kaempferol and apigenin,which also help fight off infection.

Top tip: boil your parsnips before roasting to avoid them becoming dry and chewy. Ourhoney roasted parsnipsare a sure winner.

Red cabbage

You get a double helping with this Christmas classic: first, as a brassica, you’ll be benefiting from those good-for-you glucosinolates, but the deep red colour also tells us that the cabbage is rich in compounds called花青素,有很多好处,包括heart protective

Top tip:轻轻炖的白菜有助于释放有益的植物营养素,例如类胡萝卜素,同时添加整个水果,如苹果自然会使菜肴变甜。不要忘记,当您添加糖或某些类型的酒精等成分时,您将增加free sugars,我们建议c类型ut back on. Ourred cabbage with Bramley apples & walnuts是微妙的甜味与温和的香料的绝佳结合。


无论您是喜欢在开火上烤的sprinkled over sproutsor stirred into stuffing,chestnutsadd texture, flavour and nutritional goodness to a dish. High in fibre, chestnuts may help遏制您的食欲他们胜过其他坚果,因为它们的脂肪和卡路里较低。

Top tip:栗子绝对是这个圣诞节包括的!对于健康的节日核心,请尝试我们的butternut squash, chestnut & lentil cake

Butternut squash, chestnut and lentil cake


Traditionally made from the roast juices collected during cooking, this classic flavour-packed sauce tends to be high in fat and sometimes salt. If you do choose to make a traditional gravy, skim off any obvious fat before use – a soup spoon is good for this job because it has a wide mouth.

More and more of us, however, are choosing to make a gravy using stock rather than meat juices. This way, you minimise fat levels while still enjoying a full-flavoured sauce. The secret lies in the choice of ingredients: pick the right ones and you can add rich, intense flavours without the need for high levels of fat or salt.

Top tip: check out ourhealthy turkey gravy用于增强口味的想法。

Cranberry sauce

The classic way to top off a Christmas roast is a generous dollop ofcranberrysauce. These luscious little berries containplant compoundsthat have protective antioxidant properties. However, because cranberries are very tart, most commercial sauces are heavily sweetened. Making your own may sound like madness when there are so many other things to do, but it does mean you can use some clever additions to help tweak the sugar levels.

Top tip: ourPersian cranberry sauceis a case in point – this recipe uses allspice for a delicious festive undertone as well as orange and balsamic to minimise sugar levels.

A bowl of cranberry sauce, a bowl of bread sauce and a jug of gravy

Bread sauce

In the UK, this thick sauce is a Christmas classic. Traditionally made from breadcrumbs soaked in milk that's been infused with onion, cloves, nutmeg and sometimes cream, there’s no denying it’s a fat- and carb-heavy accompaniment. But, if you’re looking for a lighter version, you could use skimmed milk and omit the cream.

Top tip: for a gluten-free sauce, simply use a gluten-free bread.

看看我们traditional bread sauce recipe

Nut roast

No longer reserved for the vegetarians in the family, nut roasts can be full in flavour and nutritionally rich. A loaf of cooked nuts, fruit and vegetables flavoured with herbs and spices, there’s no end of ingredient combinations that work well. Festive options include chestnuts, cranberries, sage, onion and parsnips.

Rich in fibre, carbs and protein, they can be lower in fat and salt than your classic festive meat. However, this does depend on the ingredients – most nuts are high in fat, although it is the healthier unsaturated variety that's good for the heart.

Top tip:寻找素食版本?看看我们的美味vegan nut roast


With a few shrewd choices, combined with some savvy preparation and cooking, it is possible to enjoy your Christmas or Thanksgiving meal this year safe in the knowledge that it doesn’t have to be unhealthy.

For more inspiration check out our健康的圣诞节食谱

This article was last updated in November 2021


克里·托伦斯(Kerry Torrens)是一名注册营养师(MBANT),并拥有个性化营养和营养疗法的研究生文凭。她是英国营养与生活方式医学协会(Bant)的成员,也是食品作家协会的成员。在过去的15年中,她一直是许多营养和烹饪出版物的作者Bet188亚洲