Making Carbs Count Christmas Classics


continued over


of year, either as a dusting or a glaze. It's

the same with things like honey-glazed

nuts which do the rounds too. The hot

favourite at this time of year is often

chestnuts, which have a high starch

content (but also with a high nutritional

value). They do need to be included in any

carb-counting regime.


Basic gravy shouldn't be too sugary,

thanks to its savoury base. But moving

on to Bread sauce or cranberry sauce,

and even mint sauce will have a carb

value that you need to be aware of, along

with white sauce or brandy sauce. Keep

those to a minimum if you can.

Seasonal roasts

The traditional seasonal birds - turkey,

duck, even pheasant, shouldn't be too

much of a problem but avoid honey glazes

and sweet sauces that are often served

to accompany and stuffing contains

breadcrumbs, so include that as part of

your carb-counting routine. Seasonal

meats - as above - are pretty much plain

protein unless you start putting sugars on

them, but with meats that's a little less

likely than with the roasted birds.


The super great thinig about spices is that

they do not have a sugar or carb count

(not in the amounts used in cooking, if

at all) although they can smell sweet. All

the lovely seasonings that are easy to

obtain in winter can be used liberally, from

cinnamon to cloves, ginger and nutmeg.


It's always worth getting stuffed! Stuffing is

a mix of meat, spices and sometimes fruit

or veg additions, (see our watercress and

orange stuffing recipe here) just be aware

that stuffing also contains breadcrumbs

so there's a bit of carb content to be



Among the seasonal vegetables, there

are beetroots, Brussels sprouts, swede,

turnips and parsnips along with the usual

variations of potatoes in all their forms. As

with many veggies, there's plenty of way to

treat them. With contempt, if you happen

to hate sprouts! Beetroots, swedes,

turnips, parsnips and potatoes are all

root vegetables, and all have notable carb

content. Even carrots count as carbs when

cooked. Simply baked, the glycaemic

Wait, there's more! To read previous Making Carbs Count articles on beetroot, chestnuts

or potatoes, click on their pictures below.

index of root vegetables are not as high

as if they mashed as tends to happen with

potatoes and swede which tends to make

them absorb faster into the blood stream

(hence they have a higher GI).

Happy Christmas

Having wildly out of control blood sugars

will ruin your Christmas, but so will

worrying about every mouthful that you

eat. It's easy to say, 'don't eat this, don't

eat that', but we're only human, and it's

hard to keep saying 'no'. Dried fruits are

the ones to watch for, as they are a slower

release sugar, but keep on releasing

those sugars for quite a while, so keep

the mince pies to a minimum (they are

full of dried fruits), and keep to a spoonful

of Christmas pud (also full of dried fruits)

and savour it! Think twice about having

any sweet drinks either, be they the punch

at the office party, or any of granny's port.

Hopefully some of this information will

help you to make the 'best guess' when

faced with a plateful of festive food and,

armed with good 'intel' you can still enjoy

it. So keep your head screwed on, take

pleasure in the food and company, keep

your blood test kit handy and use it.


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