How to have a healthy Easter
Easter doesn’t have to mean overindulging in chocolate. Follow Senior Dietitian Victoria Taylor’s tips for a guilt-free holiday.
1. Get your day off to a cracking start
Eggs are traditional Easter fare but have previously received bad press because of their high cholesterol content. Actually, saturated fat is more likely to raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels overall. For most people, it’s more important to think about how you cook your eggs rather than how many of them you eat.
Avoid frying your egg in bacon fat or adding butter to your scrambled eggs, and poach or boil them instead to keep the saturated fat down.
2. Enjoy a healthy Easter lunch
Why not brighten someone’s day with a bunch of daffodils?
If you’re planning a get-together over the Easter bank holiday, make it a healthy one. Try some of our recipes, such as spring lamb with vegetable couscous, served with green vegetables or a salad. Walk your food off with a trip to the park before coming home and enjoying some of our carrot cake. Visit our recipe finder to get more delicious recipes.
3. Say it without chocolate
Traditionally, Lent and Easter is a time of fasting and feasting, but there are other ways to celebrate than gorging on chocolate. Why not brighten someone’s day with a bunch of daffodils? Have hot cross buns instead of simnel cake and, for the children, decorate hard-boiled eggs for an Easter egg hunt rather than handing over chocolate eggs.
4. Hunt down Easter activities for all the family
Get out and about this Easter. Check your local paper for organised egg hunts or egg rolling. Or if you’re looking to do something more active, take a look at our events page to see what’s happening in your area.
But isn't chocolate good for you?
The press keeps feeding us the line that dark chocolate can be good for your heart because it contains substances called flavanols. It’s true that some studies suggest flavanols may offer a blood-pressure-lowering effect.
However, all chocolate – even the high-cocoa content stuff – also comes with lots of saturated fat, sugar and calories, which won’t do your cholesterol levels (or your waistline) any good.
Apricots, blackberries and apples also contain flavanols and, while containing lower amounts than cocoa, they don’t come with the unhealthy extras.