Nutritional Scientists at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health are bidding for a simple, united approach to advice on healthy eating. Faced with mixed nutritional messages and the season for feasting, a little guidance is welcome. Their professors, Ludwig and Willett, say that we should focus on the quality of fat and carbohydrate in the diet.
This seems particularly apt because a festive networking group I’m attending lists the lunchtime nibbles as including savoury rolls (vegetarian and traditional), pastry cheese straws and crisps. An amazing selection of processed saturated fats with refined carbohydrates.
Ludwig and Willet go on to say that replacing saturated fats of animal origin with plant oils, and refined starches and sugar with whole grains is important for better health. These are wise words to keep in mind while we take ourselves around the smorgasbords at festive season functions.
Without submitting to bah humbug – and travelling around the festive season, which tasty, nutritious treats can we enjoy?
Cream cheese will reduce the healthy credentials, watercress or any dark green leaves will increase them.
A turkey sandwich
Lots of outlets have a festively themed sandwich. Turkey is lean protein, rich in B vitamins and selenium. With a bit of cranberry sauce in wholemeal bread, it’s great. The main sandwich outlets do a fairly healthy granary bread sandwich with some rocket at under 400kcal.
There are also ‘festive works’ versions that include stuffing and more, getting them up to over 600kcal.
It’s possible to get takeaway tubs and even find small amounts on buffets. Not always exciting, but a few cherry tomatoes and some veggie sticks are much healthier than those cheese straws, and often better tasting!
Raw nuts are seasonal favourites. Walnuts, Brazils, almonds, contain those good oils with plenty of vitamin E.
The protein provides satiation, making us less hungry for the refined carbs.
Festive winter salads
The takeout sandwich cafes have some high spots, they look delicious and nutritious.
Personal Fruit Stash
Easy peeler little oranges are fit to travel and give a great burst of vitamin C.
We may need to carry a few wet wipes and a bag for the peel.
A couple of warnings
Extremely special treats come with extremely special sugar and fat content.
The Christmas cake slice at one popular bakery chain contains an incredible 67% of our recommended daily intake (RDI) of sugar – all in one small slice. The icing on the cake is where much of the damage is done. A bit of research on mince pies shows that the sugar content is considerably less (around 19% of RDI). However, an absolutely delicious mince pie from a popular sandwich outlet contains 33% of our RDI of saturated fat. In one little mince pie!
Enjoy, celebrate – but not too much!!
© 2018 Executive Travel Vitality