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Christmas Food Facts

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Hi All, I'm back with my "Christmas Food Facts"

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without all those favourites on the table, but should we feel guilty about scoffing the lot??

Please find below some useful information about our,

“Traditional Christmas Fayre”

SMOKED SALMON: An excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids-good for heart health and only 142 calories per 100g portion. Also a good source of protein, with useful amounts of niacin, which help your body break down food for energy.

TURKEY: High in protein and low in fat-as long as you DON’T eat the SKIN! A 100g portion of light meat contains just 2g of fat, although the same sized portion of dark meat contains 4.1g of fat. Apart from protein, turkey is a rich source of niacin.

CRANBERRY SAUCE: Cranberries contain good amounts of vitamin C.

RED CABBAGE: Surprisingly high in calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth and a good source of folate. And, like carrots, red cabbage also contains carotenes.

CARROTS: A rich source of beta-carotene, which your body makes into vitamin A, which is important for good eyesight and healthy skin. The darker in colour the carrot, the more beta-carotene it contains. Carrots are also high in potassium – needed to regulate fluid balance in the body – and, like most vegetables, are low in calories. Research shows that cooked carrots are beneficial for your health – cooking releases carotenoids, antioxidants that are thought to protect against cancer.

PARSNIPS: A good source of folate, Parsnips contain about twice as much fibre as an equivalent portion of carrots – and twice the number of calories, although they are still low-calorie, as long as you don’t add fat through roasting.

ROAST POTATOES: Roasting potatoes in oil piles on the calories, about twice as many as plainly boiled potatoes, but its Christmas after all. Thankfully potatoes are still low in saturated fat, if cooked in “VEGETABLE OIL”, and are a reasonable source of all sorts of nutrients including potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamin B6 and folate. Plus they contain reasonable amounts of fibre, an added bonus.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS: A rich source of folate and vitamin C. In fact, an average serving of nine sprouts provides about half your daily folate requirement – as well as reasonable quantities of vitamin B6 which is involved in the metabolism of amino acids, the formation of red blood cells and a healthy nervous system. Along with many green vegetables, Brussels sprouts also contain pigment known as lutein, which may stop blood vessels clogging up and so help prevent Strokes and Heart Disease – and they’re reasonably high in fibre.

MINCE PIES: It’s the pastry that piles on the saturated fat and calories – the more expensive the pies, the thinner the pastry and greater the fruit content. It’s best to buy a popular brand name. The dried fruit means there will be reasonable potassium content.

CHRISTMAS PUDDING: A lot of Christmas puddings, especially shop bought ones, are likely to be quite high in both saturated fats and calories, but dried fruit is full of potassium – and you can ease your conscience with the thought that a generous portion will also provide a reasonable amount of fibre and iron. But it pays to shop around – puddings with more nuts and fruit in them are likely to have a lower saturated fat content.

FRUIT: This is the best time of the year to find a range of citrus fruit – Satsuma’s and Tangerines are especially popular. All are rich in vitamin C.

DATES: High in carbohydrates and low fat, dates are a reasonable source of fibre, potassium and folate.

CHESTNUTS: Traditional at Christmas, chestnuts are ludicrously low in fat, containing just 2.7g per 100g, and are very low in saturated fat, so go wild!

STILTON: Contains about the same amount of fat than cheddar, but only half the calcium – but over twice as much folate. Full and medium fat cheese is high in calories, so if you’re trying to watch your weight, take a pragmatic approach, and avoid the biscuits too, if you can.

CHOCOLATE: Both milk and plain chocolate are high in fat and calories, but there are differences about which you might not have thought.

For instance, milk chocolate contains about five times as much more calcium and more riboflavin – yet another nutrient that extracts energy from food – while plain chocolate contains about twice as much magnesium as milk chocolate, and 50% more iron and niacin. Iron plays an important role in your body’s use of oxygen. More than half of the iron present in our bodies is in the form of haemoglobin, the oxygen-transporting red pigment in blood.

Hopefully that should help you, my next installment will be Vegetarian Information

Take Care All

Keith H

Fellow Stroke Survivor

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