Family fighting over Christmas? It’s the food you’re eating, shows new research

(Also read "Drought brings expensive bread, maize, meat, chicken and veggies for Christmas".)

Do you and your family often argue on Christmas day?

Blame it on the food, because now there’s proof that Christmas meals cause irritability.

This is according to leading food scientist Dr Paul Clayton of the Royal Society of Medicine.

Dr Clayton conducted an analysis of the effects of a “traditional” Christmas meal on the human body.

What he found was that the high glycaemic load and low vitamin count wreak havoc with our emotions.

Our review found that the traditional Christmas dinner leads to repeated rises and falls in blood sugar levels which give rise to feelings of irritability. These effects are further emphasised by the salt and alcohol intake.

Dr Paul Clayton

Dr Clayton has the following suggestions for a peaceful Christmas:

  • Start with salmon on rye bread with protein rich cream cheese and chives – a meal packed with calming phytonutrients.

  • Swop carb-heavy potatoes with artichokes or cauliflower.

  • Eat smaller portions of Christmas pudding with cranberries, blueberries, currents and mixed nuts. Top this with light crème fraiche – not cream – to cut calories while increasing nutrients.

  • Avoid alcohol; rather have fresh green, ginger or mint tea.

Scroll down for quotes from EatOut’s Anna Trapido who discusses this research in the audio below.

The two things all South Africans have in common over Christmas is that we eat too much and we argue with our families.

Anna Trapido

The food we eat over Christmas makes people vulnerable to squabbling.

Anna Trapido

Coleslaw is terribly unhealthy, because it’s packed with mayonnaise.

Anna Trapido

Beetroot – naturally full of vitamins – is boiled to death, leaving nothing left.

Anna Trapido

The amount of hidden sugar in pumpkin, butternut and carrot – you could just as well have eaten chocolate mousse!

Anna Trapido

Salmon is like fishy Prozac.

Anna Trapido

The nicest thing about the Christmas dinner is leftovers for Boxing Day.

Anna Trapido

We should be eating fish and seafood as well as low-GI vegetables.

Anna Trapido

Eat artichokes and fight less. But it’s not Christmas, is it?

Anna Trapido

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