GUEST POST: Did you know we consume as much as three times our recommended daily calorie intake on Christmas day? But it’s not all doom and gloom…
Although the traditional Christmas dinner gets a bad rep, it’s actually a pretty healthy meal if we strip it back to the bare bones. We just need to be careful of how much we have … portion control is still the key.
Your mum was right – they are good for you. They contain more than your daily requirement of vitamin K and plenty of B vitamins such as folate which is important in energy production – you’ll be thankful for that in the mid-afternoon Christmas slump! Steam them to retain as many nutrients as possible.
A great source of lean protein (particularly the white meat, so go for the breast and steer clear of the fatty skin), although many WLS patients might find the thigh or brown meat more tender and easier to digest. Turkey also contains an amino acid called tryptophan, important for serotonin production (the ‘happy’ hormone).
Potatoes themselves are a good source of potassium and starchy carbohydrate. However they are best boiled in their skins. Careful with portion sizes of your roasties, just 3-4 will do for normal appetites but just 1-2 for WLS patients depending upon size.. The downside of roast potatoes is that we often remove the skins (where the fibre is). Plus lots of calories are added when cooked in fat (not to mention the saturated fat in goose fat).
Parsnips are another source of fibre, potassium and also vitamin C. The cooking methods are where things can go awry…be mindful about adding honey (can cause dumping) or Parmesan cheese which add calories to an already hearty meal.
Red wine is rich in anthocyanin, an anti-inflammatory antioxidant. But don’t think this can give you free reign – alcohol is ’empty calories’ and more than a glass or two will add to an already food-heavy day and WLS patients can have a very low tolerability.
Cranberries also contain anthocyanin (giving them their bright red colour) and plenty of vitamin C. Sadly, though not much can be gained from the cranberry sauce, just have a little as possible as it has a high sugar content or make our recipe that’s lower in sugar (see here).
Feature courtesy of Dr Sally Norton. www.vavistalife.com with some comments from Bariatric Cookery (in red)