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Six Silly Season Snacks to Avoid this Christmas

Six Silly Season Snacks to Avoid this Christmas

On average Australians gain 0.8-1.5kg over the Christmas season. This might not seem like a lot of weight but research has shown that this weight is rarely lost. These Christmas snacks may be small but they pack a big punch. They tend to be very energy dense and the kilojoules can easily sneak up on you. It is best to avoid these snacks this silly season! Try swapping them for a healthier option to save you the extra kilojoules.

Two small shortbread cookies contain 631Kj, which is the equivalent of five slices of ham (150g). Each shortbread cookie contains about two teaspoons of butter that has no nutritional value. Ham on the other hand contains 24g of protein (per 150g), which will help keep you fuller for longer.

Two small homemade rum balls contain 920Kj, which would equate to 25 minutes on the rowing machine at the gym. It is often hard to stop after two of these tasty balls of sweetness so be mindful when snacking on these energy dense snacks as it will quickly add up.

A 30g handful of chocolate covered fruit and nuts contains 714Kj which is the equivalent of three peaches or six plums. Christmas is the best time of the year to enjoy stone fruits. They are full of fibre, which will help keep you fuller for longer. You probably wouldn’t sit down and eat six plums in one go? So think twice next time you reach for the chocolate covered snacks, and NO it does not count as a serve of fruit if it is covered in chocolate!

One small fruit mince pie has 802Kj, which is the equivalent of four cups of fresh cherries. You wouldn’t be able to sit down and eat four cups of cherries at once as the fibre would fill you up. The cherry season only lasts 100 days so enjoy fresh cherries while they last and save yourself a lot of energy.

Two Lindt chocolate balls contain 647Kj. If you consume two Lindt chocolate balls for a week that is an extra days’ worth of energy per week (4529Kj). These chocolates may seem like a small treat but when consumed everyday it adds up quickly.

A small 100g sliver of Christmas cake has a whopping 1166Kj, which means you would need to run for 20 minutes to burn it off. This doesn’t include the cream or custard that it normally comes with. The energy in this cake comes from the dried fruit, butter and sugar. A better dessert option is a low fat truffle based on fruit and sponge cake and use low fat custard instead of cream.

This silly season think twice before you reach for those energy dense Christmas snacks. Enjoy the seasonal fresh fruit instead as it contains vitamins, minerals and fibre that will help keep you fuller for longer. Save yourself the extra kilojoules this holiday season.

Peta Carige
Sports dietitian

Peta Carige is regarded as one of the top Sports Dietitians in Sydney. After graduating with a duel degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Bachelor of Science she was able to obtain a clinical position in a tertiary hospital while maintaining sports nutrition work on the side. This allowed Peta to obtain a unique experience in numerous clinical areas as well as in sports nutrition and sports performance.

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