Alkymia Blog

Alkymia Blog



Good Carbs for Xmas

Tuesday, November 27, 2018



It is possible to maintain our health (and our waist line) over Christmas without actually putting much thought and effort into it.

Choosing good sources of carbs can help you control your blood sugar as well as your weight. Eating wholefood and healthier carbohydrates can help prevent a host of chronic conditions, especially diabetes, but it can also place you in a lower risk of heart disease.

Choosing low glycaemic foods can balance blood sugar levels. High glycaemic foods result in a quick sugar spike.

If you have diabetes, you probably know all too well that when you eat carbohydrates, your blood sugar spikes. The total amount of carbs as well as the type of carb you consume at a meal or in a snack will determine what your blood sugar will do and how quickly it will spike.

For example, a serving of white rice will result in a quick, high spike in blood sugar levels. A serving of lentils has a slower and more balanced effect on your blood sugars.


The glycaemic index is a tool that measures how much a food boosts blood sugar. You can choose foods according to the glycaemic index (GI).

Choosing Low Glycaemic Foods

Using the glycaemic index is actually quite simple. You can choose foods in the low GI category instead of those in the high GI category and go easy on those in between.

•    Low glycaemic index (GI of 55 or less): Most fruits and vegetables, beans, minimally processed grains, pasta, low-fat dairy foods, and nuts.

•    Moderate glycaemic index (GI 56 to 69): White and sweet potatoes, corn, white rice, couscous.

•    High glycaemic index (GI of 70 or higher): White bread, rice cakes, most crackers, bagels, cakes, doughnuts, croissants, most packaged breakfast cereals.

Alternatives for High Glycaemic Foods:
•    Brown rice instead of white rice
•    Steel cut oats instead of instant oatmeal
•    Bran flakes instead of cornflakes
•    Wholemeal pasta instead of baked potato
•    Wholemeal bread instead of white bread
•    Peas or leafy green vegetables instead of corn


Dreaming of a healthy Christmas?

It can be done, and it is possible to enter the New Year without any extra kilos.

Here’s my top tips for eating well while being merry this Christmas…

Turkey
•    Turkey falls under the category of a high protein food. It is a white meat which has been shown to present with healthier outcomes than red meat.

•    Turkey is considered a low glycaemic index food which supports regulation of blood sugar levels.

•    The healthiest and most tasty way of cooking turkey is by roasting it.  Lemon juice, salt, pepper and some garlic can be rubbed on the outside of the Turkey and then under the skin for added flavour.

•    Roast vegetables or salad alongside the Turkey!


Stuffing
•    Stuffing needn’t be unhealthy and full of fat. 


Seafood and Salads
•    Seafood has amazing health benefits.

•    Salad containing raw vegetables such as carrots, lettuce (the darker the green the better), tomatoes, and avocadoes. They contain important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Be careful with the dressing though.  Try pouring equal quantities of balsamic vinegar and olive oil with a splash of lemon over the salad as a delicious, healthy alternative.

Christmas Morning
•    Avoid ripping into your Christmas chocolates before breakfast, it’s best to eat normally in the lead up to Christmas lunch or dinner. Start the day with a protein-packed meal – say poaches eggs on toast, oatmeal or a green smoothie – so you’re not tempted to snack while cooking. Research shows you’re also less likely to overeat at lunch if you eat a healthy, filling breaky.


Go Easy on the Alcohol
•    Alcohol is just empty calories, providing no nutritional value. So perhaps swap every second drink for sparkling water. Or opt for a healthier vodka, soda and lime – rather than sugary champagne or beer.
Christmas pudding, Cakes and Custards

•    What would Christmas be without these dishes?  As this is part of tradition, it is hard to go without.  These can be made using healthier ingredients.  

•    Christmas is a family time.  Traditionally this family time is spent interacting around Christmas meals.  The answer to enjoying our time without bursting the seams is to fill up on the healthy alternatives first, then tuck into the sweets, but do this in moderation.

Add Exercise to Your Christmas List 

Chances are, you don’t want to slog it out at the gym during Christmas. That’s ok – there are plenty of fun outdoor options. Paddle boarding, swimming, or even a gentle stroll after dinner with your loved ones will keep a bloated belly at bay.



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