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Simple switches: Roast dinner


A few simple swaps can make family roast dinners healthier, without skimping on flavour.


  • Seasoning and gravy add to the deliciousness of a roast. To keep your salt intake to a minimum, don't automatically reach for the salt cellar – season with pepper, and make use of garlic and any herbs you like.
  • If you’re making gravy from your roast meat, skim the fat off the top before serving – skimming just one tablespoon of fat cuts 12g of fat and at least 100 calories.
  • It can often be the meat that makes your roast. So stick to leaner choices – chicken and turkey are high in protein and low in fat. You don't even need to add any oil – just remove the skin and add lemon and garlic to give it a great flavour. It'll cook in its own juices and stay tender. If you go for beef, trim off any visible fat before cooking.


  • Vegetarian? For a meat alternative, you can also buy roast meat substitutes, which are generally lower in fat and calories.
  • Make your roast potatoes big and chunky, as there’ll be less surface area to soak up oil. Rapeseed oil is a good choice for roasts, but you could opt for a low-calorie cooking spray instead. Cook roast potatoes with rosemary and garlic for extra flavour. You could even use sweet potatoes and butternut squash in the roasting tray for a modern twist on the traditional.
  • Add lots of your favourite veg for more colour and nutrition. Steam your greens, such as broccoli and cabbage, and roast root veg, like parsnips and carrots. Just cut up your root veg into equal pieces, toss in some olive oil and roast until golden.
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