Easter Eggstravaganza

Nutrition Team

It’s Easter time and as far as food is concerned, it’s all about chocolate. You’ll find it everywhere you look - on the TV, in the supermarkets, in magazines and newspapers and all over children’s faces. It’s enough to make anyone’s good intentions, literally, melt away!

It doesn’t have to be a tough time for dieting. Accept that it’s Easter and even the best of us are going to indulge in a nibble or two, BUT know the facts.

Firstly, all Easter eggs are not created equal. The most important rule when buying one is to read the labels and THINK SMALL. While the smaller versions are often marketed as children’s’ Easter eggs, like Cadbury’s Buttons for example, these can be the best options for you too. The small ‘Buttons’ Easter egg was one of the lightest ones I could find at 105 grams. While you may feel a little deprived by only indulging in a teeny weeny egg, that mere 105 grams of chocolate heaven will set you back a nice round 555 calories (11 Units).

For that you could eat eleven apples or seven and a half slices of bread (if you wanted to)! There’s also 32 grams of fat in that little egg, which means that over 50% of the energy, comes from fat. That’s also well over half your fat allowance for one day and, watch out! 17 of those fat grams are saturated!

On the other hand, there are the larger, more luxurious types of eggs usually marketed as gifts for women. For example, if you went for the large Cadbury’s Roses egg, which was the heaviest one I could find at 349 grams, that will cost you a massive 1846 calories (35 Units!).

As far as fat goes, you get an enormous 106 grams - around twice the daily fat allowance for someone who is trying to eat healthily. Sixty two of those grams are saturated fat, which won’t do your cholesterol level any favours! So be warned! These figures do not include the sweets hidden so discretely inside the egg.

Eat that egg and you can forget about eating anything else for the rest of the day. For around the same amount of calories, you could eat a nice bowl of cereal with semi-skimmed milk and a banana for breakfast, a full Sunday lunch of roast spring lamb, roast potatoes, vegetables and gravy, and still have room for a slice of that deliciously wicked seasonal delight, Simnel cake, for dessert as well as an egg salad sandwich, complete with low-fat mayo for tea. When you weigh it up, the large Easter egg somehow seems a little eggstravagant…

Calories and fat aside, the second important thing for anyone trying to stick to a diet over Easter is to know yourself. Are you the type of person who could break off a piece of Easter egg, enjoy the taste and happily move on, or are you the type of person who, once the egg is broken, is compelled by some over-riding force to return to feast on the velvety delights until there only evidence it ever existed is a scattering of tiny crumbs in silver paper?

If, like most of us, you fit into the latter category, be realistic about resisting Easter eggs. Have a nibble here and there but keep in mind the idea that a large Easter egg could amount to a whole days intake of food. You wouldn’t sit down to a second breakfast, second lunch and second dinner and dessert, would you?

You don’t have to avoid chocolate altogether this Easter, heaven forbid. Life goes on, even when you are on a diet and we all have to deal with holiday temptations as best we can. Choose the smaller eggs and try not to eat it all on one day, or why not have a bar of chocolate instead? Your normal two ounce (56 gram) bar of milk chocolate packs 296 calories and 27 grams of fat (6 Units).

Okay, so it’s not ideal, but because it’s usually divided into chunks or squares, it can be easier to have just a piece or two at a time. If it’s got to be an egg, a Cadbury’s Crème Egg is our champion for dieters at Easter with only 163 calories and 6 grams of fat (2½ Units).

Happy Easter!

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Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.