HEALTH

Christmas Lunch Survival Guide: 'Switch Out' Unhealthy Foods, CSIRO Says

The CSIRO is helping Aussies make it through Xmas Day lunch in one piece.

24/12/2016 10:07 AM AEDT | Updated 24/12/2016 10:42 AM AEDT
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Christmas lunch means feasting for many Aussie families.

Ham, turkey, prawns, seafood, beers, cakes, tarts and pudding.

Christmas lunch is an overindulgence minefield. Thankfully, CSIRO researcher and dietitian Jane Bowen says there are ways to keep from full throttle gluttony.

Her number one tip is to put a time limit on the feasting.

"It's OK, on Christmas Day, to perhaps have more than you would normally. But I think the tip is to realise where Christmas Day finishes, then to go back on the healthy wagon after Christmas Day as well, and not continue the feasting for too long," Bowen told ABC television on Saturday.

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Keeping a lid on the booze also helps, Bowen advises.

She said alcohol consumption generally spiked at this time of year and was another common cause of overeating at Christmas lunch.

"We know that, when people are drinking alcohol, they tend to eat more as well. It acts as a bit of an appetite stimulant," Bowen said.

"Trying to cut back on the alcohol will do two things. It will save you on too many calories, and it might help you to make better judgments about how much food you eat as well."

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She also recommended careful planning of your Christmas Day eating schedule, urging a light breakfast, few snacks during the day, and saving most eating for lunchtime. She also said it was a good idea to "switch out" sugary drinks, if possible.

"It's (also) the perfect chance to make the most of beautiful summer fruits and berry, rather than big, heavy, wintry desserts," Bowen added.

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